London, November, 1960: the Cold War is at its height. Spy fever fills the newspapers, and the political establishment knows how and where to bury its secrets. When a highly sensitive file goes missing, Simon Callington is accused of passing information to the Soviets, and arrested. His wife, Lily, suspects that his imprisonment is part of a cover-up, and that more powerful men than Simon will do anything to prevent their own downfall. She knows that she too is in danger, and must fight to protect her children. But what she does not realise is that Simon has hidden vital truths about his past, and may be found guilty of another crime that carries with it an even greater penalty.
"This book is a triumph - a marvellous piece of seamless storytelling. The characters are so persuasive, as is the period flavour, while the plot is masterly - I kept thinking I could see where we were going next, and then we didn't. This is an imaginative new take on the Cold War thriller, so convincingly told and peopled that you surface from it surprised to be back in 2015." -- Penelope Lively "Dunmore so cleverly interweaves each of the character's stories that as the tale unfolds it has the chilling ring of absolute authenticity. It's gripping and page turning and all those things you expect in a Spy Drama - but always laced with her trademark humanity. I was totally caught up in the story which is paced perfectly. Her best book yet." -- Mavis Cheek
Helen Dunmore is the author of fourteen novels. Her first, Zennor in Darkness, explored the events which led to D H Lawrence's expulsion from Cornwall (on suspicion of spying) during the First World War. It won the McKitterick Prize. Her third novel, A Spell of Winter, won the inaugural Orange Prize, now the Bailey's Prize for Women's Fiction. Her bestselling novel The Siege, set during the Siege of Leningrad, was described by Antony Beevor as 'a world-class novel' and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year and the Orange Prize. She has also written a ghost story, The Greatcoat, under the Hammer imprint. She is fascinated by the Cold War era, which was also the era of her childhood, and is the setting for Exposure, and by the secrets, betrayals, loves, lies and loyalties which make up the period's intimate history. Helen Dunmore's work has been translated into more than thirty languages and she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.