Forbidden love, intimate betrayal and the devastating power of exposure drive Helen Dunmore’s remarkable new novel. London, November, 1960: the Cold War is at its height. Spy fever fills the newspapers, and the political establishment knows how and where to bury its secrets. When a highly sensitive file goes missing, Simon Callington is accused of passing information to the Soviets, and arrested.
His wife, Lily, suspects that his imprisonment is part of a cover-up, and that more powerful men than Simon will do anything to prevent their own downfall. She knows that she too is in danger, and must fight to protect her children. But what she does not realise is that Simon has hidden vital truths about his past, and may be found guilty of another crime that carries with it an even greater penalty.
Helen Dunmore captures the period brilliantly in the language and the prose style with her wonderful storytelling style. The tone of her writing leaves you feeling you are in 1960, amongst the spies and the intrigue as she explores the power of the old boy’s network that ran the security services. It’s a seamless and gripping tale of how M15 dealt with double agents giving it a chilling core. Highly recommended.