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 for ever.
Ten years later, now a 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
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 this country’s most exceptional writers.
'Atkinson's poker-faced narration perfectly serves a twisty tale of innocence lost amid a fog of geopolitical double-dealing, framed with a deadly tragedy.'
'Full of intrigue, ... sublimely suspenseful - droll, devious and deadly, beautifully serious.'
'A triumph ... inventive, atmospheric and witty.'
'A treat - cerebral and suspenseful, playful and empathetic.'
Mail on Sunday
'A new Kate Atkinson novel is always a reason to rejoice and Transcription was everything I was hoping for and more ... The truly surprising denouement makes for one of the best conclusions of a novel I've ever read. I immediately wanted to read it all over again.'
'There are plenty of twists and turns in this terrific page-turner, some shocking moments, and a narrator whom the author encourages us to love.'
'Never loses its sense of absurdity of human beings even in their most tragic or noble moments ... How vehemently most novelists will wish to produce a masterpiece as good.'
'Full of beautiful, delicate, sharp sentences and characterisations. A spy novel that dismantles the whole genre. A class act, as ever,'
'A fine example of Kate Atkinson's mature work, an unapologetic novel of ideas which is also wise, funny and paced like a thriller.'