Thursday, 28 March 2013

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan sure knows how to take the reader by surprise, this time with a spy novel, of sorts. It is the 1970s and Serena Frome is spotted at Cambridge and targeted for MI5. The reader imagines dark doings involving stolen documents and risky escapades behind the iron curtain. These are the days of the Cold War and IRA bombings - enough to keep the secret services busy. However, for Serena, the reality is a lot of typing and filing, meagre pay and dismal digs.

She makes friends with Max, a few rungs up the ladder from Serena, and he sees in her good looks and literary interests an opportunity for her to take on a more challenging task. Feigning a role with an arts foundation, Serena must offer a grant to promising young author, Tom Haley, with the notion that he will write with an anti-Communist slant. But things get complicated when Serena starts to enjoy Tom’s company more than her job allows.

In spite of the lack of the usual spy skulduggery, this MI5 story is full of twists and turns, with plenty of tension and a brilliant twist at the end. McEwan’s writing is as polished as ever, producing another novel that ticks all the boxes.

Posted by JAM

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Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan, 2012

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy McEwan's novels - mostly because of his writing. Often not a great deal happens in terms of plot - but I like the way the characters think and can empathize with them.

    Cath Brookes (Microsoft Downloads)