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Tightrope
by Simon Mawer


Overview -

From the author of the best-selling and Booker Prize shortlisted The Glass Room and Trapeze
An historical thriller that brings back Marian Sutro, ex-Special Operations agent, and traces her romantic and political exploits in post-World War II London, where the Cold War is about to reshape old loyalties


As Allied forces close in on Berlin in spring 1945, a solitary figure emerges from the wreckage that is Germany.  Read more...


 
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More About Tightrope by Simon Mawer
 
 
 
Overview

From the author of the best-selling and Booker Prize shortlistedThe Glass RoomandTrapeze
An historical thriller that brings back Marian Sutro, ex-Special Operations agent, and traces her romantic and political exploits in post-World War II London, where the Cold War is about to reshape old loyalties


As Allied forces close in on Berlin in spring 1945, a solitary figure emerges from the wreckage that is Germany. It is Marian Sutro, whose existence was last known to her British controllers in autumn 1943 in Paris. One of a handful of surviving agents of the Special Operations Executive, she has withstood arrest, interrogation, incarceration, and the horrors of Ravensbruck concentration camp, but at what cost? Returned to an England she barely knows and a postwar world she doesn t understand, Marian searches for something on which to ground the rest of her life. Family and friends surround her, but she is haunted by her experiences and by the guilt of knowing that her contribution to the war effort helped lead to the monstrosities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. When the mysterious Major Fawley, the man who hijacked her wartime mission to Paris, emerges from the shadows to draw her into the ambiguities and uncertainties of the Cold War, she sees a way to make amends for the past and at the same time to find the identity that has never been hers.
A novel of divided loyalties and mixed motives, Tightrope is the complex and enigmatic story of a woman whose search for personal identity and fulfillment leads her to shocking choices.

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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781590517239
  • ISBN-10: 1590517237
  • Publisher: Other Press (NY)
  • Publish Date: November 2015
  • Page Count: 512


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Thrillers - Espionage

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-09-07
  • Reviewer: Staff

In the classical mode of a Graham Greene entertainment, Mawers (Trapeze) latest introduces the reader to Englishwoman Marian Sutro, who spent World War II as an SOE undercover agent in France, where she was betrayed, tortured by the Gestapo, and ultimately sent to the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Repatriated to England at wars end, Marian has a difficult time getting on with her life. Tortured by memories of her wartime experiences, she nevertheless marries and finds work as a librarian. But then a man from her past, Major Fawley, appears and asks her to spy for his secret organization. At the same time, she meets a Russian journalist, David Trofimovich Absolon, who turns out to be a GRU agent intending to blackmail her. She ends up walking a tightrope between both men. And then there is Sam Wareham, a younger man who has had a crush on Marian for years and will end up her confidante, lover, and maybe even her savior. Like le Carré, Mawer spins out Marians story in an immaculately methodical and suspenseful manner. And in Marian he has created a complex, contradictory heroine, emotionally fragile, endlessly resourceful, and unrepentantly amorous. If the novel is a little too long and too busy, it nevertheless tells a dramatic story about one woman testing the boundaries of loyalty as one kind of war gives way to a shadowy new one. (Nov.)

 
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