The Allegations by Mark Lawson
Mark Lawson’s The Allegations is an “act of revenge through satire”, said Andrew Billen in The Times. In 2014, Lawson resigned from his job presenting BBC Radio 4’s Front Row after he was accused of bullying. The novel he has now produced focuses on two professors at the “University of Middle England”, both of whom see their careers jeopardised by dubious charges – in one case, of sexual abuse; in the other, of bullying and insubordination. Lawson’s satirical skills remain as sharp as ever, but the novel is let down by its refusal to admit even the possibility that the two professors are “guilty of anything greater than being products of their time”.
Lawson has a “great ear” for jargon, and proves a “dab hand” at capturing the language of today’s “procedurally encumbered witch-hunt”, said Lionel Shriver in The Guardian. The Allegations is a deft examination of “the tyranny of the aggrieved”. It is, however, by no means flawless. There’s a long passage in the middle in which “nothing happens”. This “is a good book” but “edited a bit differently it might have been a cracking one”.