The Netflix series House of Cards is based on a BBC series made in the early 1990s, which in turn are based on three novels—House of Cards, To Play the King, and The Final Cut—by Dobbs. In the first book, Francis Urquhart, tired of being overlooked for a Cabinet position, schemes and murders his way to becoming Prime Minister. In the second, the new PM feuds with the idealistic new king. In the final book, after ten years in office, Urquhart wants to secure his legacy and decides to reunite Cyprus.
Urquhart is brilliant, ruthless, amoral, and very entertaining. Dobbs was once an aide to Margaret Thatcher and was a longtime Conservative staffer in Westminster, which gives him an insider’s perspective on British politics.