The Innocent by Ian McEwan is a thrilling novel set in 1950s Berlin during the early stages of the Cold War. The book follows the story of Leonard Marnham, a young British post office technician who is sent to Berlin to work on a top-secret project. Leonard is a naive and inexperienced young man who quickly becomes embroiled in a dangerous game of espionage and deceit.
Tim Shipman, in his best spy authors list, ranked Ian McEwan at #77 and wrote:
Another literary novelist who has tried his hand at espionage. Unlike Sebastian Faulks, an author I usually like, but whose attempt at a Bond novel reads like a literary novelist who thinks writing a thriller is easy and somewhat beneath him, McEwan has twice come up with a winner, perhaps because he treated the subject matter like any other subject for literary examination.
The Innocent is a twisty gripper of a book, which embroils a naive telecoms worker in the 1950s tunnel the allies built under the Russian sector of Berlin to tap their communications. He falls for a German woman and his two worlds collide.Tim Shipman
Regular listeners know about my love for Berlin-based espionage novels, and having never read any of Ian McEwan‘s work then, I had to give this one a go, especially as it features appearances by real life spy/traitor George Blake with the main backdrop to the story being the Berlin tunnel that the Allies dug deep under Berlin, not to get people out, but to listen to Soviet communications from their HQ in East Berlin, Karlshorst!
On today's episode of Spybrary I share my brush pass review of The Innocent with you
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