Psychological thriller set in Berlin during the Cold War, based on an actual (but little known) incident which tells of the secret tunnel under the Soviet sector which the British and Americans built to gain access to the Russians’ communication system.
Leonard Marnham, a 25-year-old, naive, English post office technician is alarmed to find himself involved in a top-secret operation. At the same time, he experiences his sexual initiation in a clandestine affair with a German divorcee five years his senior. As his two secret worlds come together, events develop into a gruesome nightmare..
This is a dark and twisted psychological thriller / love story, with an unexpected and unputdownable second half. Edge of the seat stuff.
Set in the 1950’s cold war era which I always find a fascinating period of history to read about. However, it is probably more about the characters than it is a spy novel – more a tale of innocence lost rather than just a covert operation.
McEwan’s writing is excellent, as always.
“The abandonment was delicious. Something was pouring out of him, through his palm and into hers; something was spreading back up his arm, across his chest, constricting his throat. His only thought was a repetition: so this is it, it’s like this, so this is it …”
GENRE: Literary thriller