Faith is a newspaper woman - a war zone junkie; authority hating; vodka addicted; bad tempered; foul mouthed; loud; opinionated; single; with young baby; conflicted; tetchy; complicated newspaper woman with a history. Part of that history is personal - she's got this distant boyfriend Eden. Distant in their relationship - mostly because she keeps him that way, despite him being the father of her beloved baby Ben. Distant because he's headed off to Tuscany to write "those" sorts of columns - in Faith's words <em>I mean, if that isn't money for old rope I don't know what is. 'As the evening sun goes down over my small olive grove and the lizards dart into the last spots of dappled light ...' You know the type of thing.</em>
Part of that history is professional - she's been a well known and respected war columnist and she's been as close as she could be to the pointy end of many many campaigns.
She's also got a past because she's the daughter of Karel Zanetti - a well regarded journalist in his own right, he's been dead for 25 years after being shot in Ireland. She's not best pleased when it seems he's suddenly sending her postcards and ringing.
Faith's bored working a desk job in London but underwhelmed when "The Editor" gets his regular bee in his bonnet and decides that there's more to the accepted viewpoint that the Libyans were responsible for blowing up TAA67. There has always been the question of who rang through the Reykjavík warning. She ends up in small town Italy with a rather more complicated and startling answer to that than anyone accepted.
A large part of the jokes in this book revolve around Faith and her feisty (well grumpy) attitude. Some of the comebacks, rants, raves, whinges and bitching that Faith does is outstandingly hysterical - but there are points when the shtick is slightly overdone. Fortunately there's also a far-fetched but disconcertingly realistic plot as well - which reads very much like an investigative journalist job. Faith and her cronies - Eden, the photographer Don, Walter, Phoebe, Pip and a cast of sub-characters throw everything at this resolution. Even if the whole thing has a vaguely lunatic feel to it who cares - this is a highly entertaining read.