Sweet Tooth

Ian McEwan is back with a masterpiece to equal Atonement, entwining espionage and love in a thrilling new novel.

Serena Frome, the beautiful mathematician daughter of an Anglican bishop, has a brief affair with an older man during her final year at Cambridge before taking a job with MI5 in London. The year is 1972: Britain, confronting economic disaster, is being torn apart by industrial unrest and terrorism; the Cold War has entered a moribund phase but the fight goes on and British Intelligence hesitates at little to influence hearts and minds. MI5 sends Serena, a compulsive reader of novels, on a secret mission that brings her to Tom Healy, a promising young writer. First she loves his stories, then she begins to love the man. Can she maintain the fiction of her undercover life? What is deception and who is deceiving whom? To answer these questions, Serena must abandon the first rule of espionage–trust no one. Ian McEwan’s mastery is more dazzling than ever in this superb story of intrigue, love…and mutual betrayal.

Reviews

Praise for Ian McEwan and Sweet Tooth:
“[T]he immediate reaction upon finishing is to begin the book anew…. This novel is juicy.” National Post
Sweet Tooth takes the expectations and tropes of the Cold War thriller and ratchets up the suspense…. A well-crafted pleasure to read.”
—The Independent

“[McEwan is] a master of menace, an excavator of the jagged fissures that lie just under civilization’s crust.”
—Los Angeles Times

“[I came away] shaking my head once again in admiration of McEwan’s inventiveness in giving fictional words on the page a reason to be there, his ability to entertain, and the sheer audacity and confidence that is necessary to attempt things other writers wouldn’t even contemplate.”
—The Guardian