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Transcription
2018
Availability
Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Juliet Armstrong (Female), Recruited into the world of espionage at age 18; watched British Fascist sympathizers for MI5; ten years after war became radio producer at the BBC; confronted by figures from her past.
Genre
Fiction
Historical
War
Thriller
Topics
World War II
British Intelligence
Surveillance
Fascists
Espionage
Betrayal
Loyalty
Setting
England - Europe
Time Period
1943 -- 20th century
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Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

Atkinson's suspenseful novel (following A God in Ruins) is enlivened by its heroine's witty, sardonic voice as she is transformed from an innocent, unsophisticated young woman into a spy for Britain's MI5 during WWII. Initially recruited to transcribe secretly recorded conversations between British fascist sympathizers who think they are conspiring with the Gestapo, Juliet Armstrong is one day given an infiltration assignment (and a gun), during which she discovers an important document-and just like that, she becomes an undercover agent. Her growing realization of the serious nature of what at first seems like an "espionage lark" is made more intriguing by her attraction to her enigmatic boss. Juliet finds herself running a safe house for a Russian defector until the war's end, after which she lives in an unspecified location abroad for decades. It's in the 1970s that agents return and insist that she get back in the game as a double agent, and she realizes there's no exit. If Atkinson initially challenges credibility because Juliet slides too quickly from being a naive 18-year-old into a clever escape artist and cool conspirator, her transition into idealistic patriot and then ultimately jaded pawn in the espionage world is altogether believable. The novel's central irony is that the desperation for victory in a noble cause later becomes tainted with ruthless political chicanery. The book ends on an uncertain note for Juliet, a poignant denouement for this transportive, wholly realized historical novel. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
A dramatic story of WWII espionage, betrayal, and loyalty, by the #1 bestselling author of Life After Life <br> <br> <br> In 1940, eighteen-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever. <br> Ten years later, now a radio producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without consequence. <br> Transcription is a work of rare depth and texture, a bravura modern novel of extraordinary power, wit and empathy. It is a triumphant work of fiction from one of the best writers of our time.
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