Four people awake from cryogenic sleep on a dead ship far from civilisation. Three cadets fresh from the Imperial Academy, shipping to their first placement on the Empress’ new flagship, and a mysterious Admiral who doesn’t act or look like he has achieved that rank. The cadets are rightfully suspicious.
Martyn Percival is on a belated OE – in his early fifties he has successfully salvaged a career post redundancy, but wasn’t able to salvage his marriage once his wife of over thirty years was determined to leave. He was starting to settle into a new lifestyle in Khandallah, with just his daughter’s cat for company. But when he experienced a fellow club member being farewelled with just ‘a moment’s silence’ he considers his life and decides to visit the UK and Europe in search of adventure.
The title of this novel refers to a true incident in 1981 when one of our top SIS spooks lost his briefcase; when it was discovered by a journalist it had been left in the Aro Valley and found to contain his business cards, a diary of scurrilous gossip, three mince pies, two fruit pies, the NZ Listener, and a Penthouse magazine.
I picked this novel up, saw the cover and glimpsed at the blurb, and started to read what I thought would be a humorous story of a man who decides to try a second career as a comic strip writer – it isn’t. As I started to read I then thought it was an exploration of intra-family relationships – it’s not really that either. Strip is an exploration of love and loyalty, and of quite frankly a lot of bad decision making on the way to trying to manipulate the world to make it ideal for those you love.