The ultimate conspiracy thriller. It is the most secret contest in the world – for the highest stakes.
At the beginning of the 21st century, only one institution stands above the sea of corruption into which most governments, councils and think tanks have fallen. The College, established on a Scottish island in the Middle Ages, is the most powerful and secretive organisation in the world. It is subject to the control only of its Master.
So who will be the next Master? The one who wins the Mastership Game.
Five Fellows are selected. Each must fulfil certain tasks to be accepted as the candidate. And they must understand the moral and philosophical nature of the Game.
But there’s a catch. The players must take part in a contest without knowing the rules – and there can only be one winner. Once committed, things are the opposite of what they expect. They quickly need to understand the true nature of the game if they want to stay alive. So how high are the stakes? Is murder on the cards? And are others playing as well – by different rules?
The only clue is an old Chinese puzzle box, whose maker died hundreds of years ago. The box is far beyond their reach and its secret has never been solved. Yet it contains both the path to the Mastership… and its ultimate answer.
The Game is played all over the world.
The players require all their skills to survive, let alone solve the clues.
The winner is uncertain until the surprise ending.
Compelling and fascinating, The Mastership Game is a race involving a tempestuous clash of character and wills as the players, and the reader, are forced to consider the true nature of power and just what they will do to attain it.
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Beyond Presidents and dictators there lies the Master; The Mastership Game is a brilliant novel of ethical responsibility and international intrigue. Set up in the late Middle Ages, the Institute is an intelligence service devoted to the resolution of conflict and the preservation of peace, and its Master is one of the most highly respected, if little known, figures in world politics. And when the Master gets old, the succession is up for grabs. There are five candidates, soon reduced to four by murder, but only one of them can succeed--the first to produce 20 million dollars. Yet it is clearly not as simple as that--Rex was not the first candidate for the Mastership down the centuries to die by violence, and the ancient Chinese puzzle box the candidates are shown is clearly a part of the problem or its solution. Scott McBain's first novel takes us from the corridors of Washington's power elite to a remote Scottish island, the jungles of Latin America and the pirate-swarming Taiwan strait. It is an impressive debut with exciting action sequences and some real thoughtfulness about power and those worthy of it. -- Roz KaveneyReview:
This superior thriller does more than entertain: it questions the nature of power and the lengths people will go to acquire it.’ Christopher Matthew, Daily Mail
'A conspiracy thriller of the highest order… a tight and always intriguing novel which examines the depths to which people will sink in their quest for power. A masterly debut.' Evening Herald
‘McBain has a talent for creating believable characters and situations… For those who thought he was going to carry on in the usual vein of thriller writers, this will be a surprise; for those who enjoy good writing, a pleasant one.’ Richard Pedley, Jersey Evening Post
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 2259192