Greg Hurst's book on Charles Kennedy is one I highly recommend. Before I started reading it I had heard it was a little plodding and not very exciting. I have to say I didn't find it so at all. Let me start by declaring an interest. One of my last acts before I left Politico's Publishing was to commission this book, albeit by a different author, Duncan Brack. Duncan comes from the left of the LibDems and would have written a very different book to Greg Hurst. I suspect he would have been far more critical of his political decisions but would have wrestled with the personal elements. Due to work commitments Duncan had to pull out of writing the book and Greg took it over.
Hurst begins the book by relating the 'events of last January' as we shall call them. He does it in a non-judgemental way and an air of inevitability permeates every page. He asserts that Kennedy took a long time to realise the game was up, much longer than his advisers. There was an air of the Fuehrerbunker about Cowley Street, where few people could bring themselves to tell the leader the awful truth - that his days were numbered.
Hurst makes Kennedy's early parliamentary career sound a greal more interesting that it actually was - I say that as a compliment. He's also quite stark in his analysis of his character traits and flaws during that period, which gives a sense of a gradual car crash which is takes quite a few years to happen.
The one thing which Greg Hurst possibly fails to do is to apportion blame for the fact that Kennedy's drink problem was allowed to go on for so long with no one at the top of the party prepared to address it. Perhaps this is understandable in that Kennedy was genuinely liked, even by his political opponents in the LibDems. Telling someone they have an alcohol problem is akin to telling them that their wife is cheating on them - not something one does with alacrity.
All in all, this is one of the better written and stylish biographies I have read in recent years. It treats the reader like an adult and avoids hyperbole. I have no hesitation in recommending you to buy the book HERE.