A dark tale of greed, corruption and unquenchable ambition.


House of Cards was written nearly thirty years ago but is still considered to be the definitive political thriller.

Based around the life and inexhaustible lusts of machiavellian politician Francis Urquhart, the novel was adapted into the hugely acclaimed BBC television series and spawned FU's famous quote that has been used by countless politicians “…you might think that, I couldn't possibly comment”.

And now the devastating U.S. television adaptation on Netflix featuring Francis Underwood, starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, has won Emmys and Golden Globes – and millions of followers worldwide.


'I started writing the book beside a swimming pool. I had no idea it was about to change my life so completely. NEARLY THIRTY YEARS  later it's still doing that, changing my life.'



The idea for a novel based around the dark political arts came to me shortly after the 1987 general election campaign, which had been particularly bruising. Margaret Thatcher won that election but made many enemies while doing so – too many, I thought. It inspired me to begin work on a plot – entirely fictional, of course – to get rid of a Prime Minister. The book was dramatised by the BBC, and in the very week it was first broadcast Margaret was forced out of Downing Street. It seemed almost impossible, but she was gone. Fact had overtaken Fiction.


WHEN John Major  became Prime Minister. He SAID House of Cards had done for his job 'what Dracula has done for baby-sitting'. I took it as a compliment.


The BBC's television adaptation has been one of the best-selling television series ever made by the BBC. And now the US adaptation is a global success.

The US version is different, of course – but not that different. Kevin Spacey recently said: "The original was about a wily, murderous politician worming his way to becoming Prime Minister. This is about a wily, murderous politician worming his way to the White House. It ain't your daddy's West Wing!"

He also said 'this wouldn't have been possible without the brilliant material it was based on'. He's not only one of the most talented actors of our age but kind, too.


"FU will be remembered for much longer than many a real Prime Minister." Daily Mail

"What a brilliant creation he is." Sunday Telegraph

"This blood-and-thunder tale, lifelike and thoroughly cynical . . . a great triumph." Independent

"House of Cards is fast-moving, revelatory and brilliant." Daily Express

"With a friend like Michael Dobbs, who on earth needs enemies?" The Times