A brilliant Cold War spy story from the Man Booker shortlisted author of The Glass Room
Marian Sutro has survived Ravensbruck and is back in dreary 1950s London trying to pick up the pieces of her pre-war life.
Returned to an England she barely knows and a post-war world she doesn't understand Marian searches for something on which to ground the rest of her life. Family and friends surround her and a young RAF officer attempts to bring her the normalities of love and affection but she is haunted by her experiences and by the guilt of knowing that her contribution to the war effort helped lead to the development of the Atom Bomb. Where, in the complexities of peacetime, does her loyalty lie? When a mysterious Russian diplomat 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 to renew the excitement of her double life.
Simon Mawer's sense of time and place is perfect: TIGHTROPE is a compelling novel about identity and deception which constantly surprises the reader.
Mawer is a skilful writer and this is a sophisticated, deviously constructed story of a woman who finds her true self in the distorting mirrors of the intelligence game - Sunday Times
Mawer's evocation of poor, battered post-war London, still a drab city of thick and clammy fogs, is beautifully done. Likewise he handles his plot, moving back and forward in time, in masterly fashion . . . Mawer blows the dust off the history and makes it matter as you read. He is one of the most accomplished novelists today - Scotsman
Mawer sensitively evokes the crushing normality of postwar Britain . . . intriguing, often lyrical - The Times
Simon Mawer is a true master of literary espionage . . . Tightrope is gripping stuff - Mail on Sunday
Simon Mawer was born in 1948 in England, and spent his childhood there, in Cyprus and in Malta. He then moved to Italy, where he and his family lived for more than thirty years, and taught at the British International School in Rome. He and his wife currently live in Hastings. Simon Mawer is the author of several novels including the Man Booker shortlisted The Glass Room, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky and Tightrope.