Aussie Politics with a wicked twist

The Mandarin Code
Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlmann
Harper Collins, August 2014, 327 pages

A body is pulled from Lake Burley Griffin and what would appear to be a suicide turns into an international conspiracy that could result in war between China and the United States of America with Australia trying to find a safe middle ground. 
Harry Dunkley a veteran news reporter is given some juicy leaks that lead him on the story of a life time and possibly uncovering his best friend’s killer.   The Australian Government is in turmoil and seems to be heading from one disaster to another. 
The Mandarin Code is the second book in the Harry Dunkley series and I can honestly say I did not know there was a first book. This book can be read as a standalone without any knowledge of the first book. 
There are layers upon layers of conspiracy, dodgy political deals, backstabbing and numerous grabs for power.  While Dunkley is the character that the story hangs off there are several other players who you learn about. The problem for me was that each chapter seemed to introduce a new character and at times it was hard to figure out who was who.  For a while I kept getting the Opposition Leader and Foreign Minister names confused. The characters on the whole were well crafted, the story was fun with twists and an enjoyable read. 
If you are an Australian political junkie then this book is truly for you. Lewis and Uhlmann have taken some current well known Australian political figures given them a good twist and had some fun.