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 sympathisers, 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 realise that there is no action without consequence.
About the Author
Kate Atkinson won the Costa Book of the Year prize for her novels Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Life After Life and A God in Ruins. Her four bestselling novels featuring former detective Jackson Brodie became the BBC television series Case Histories, starring Jason Isaacs.
One could easily imagine that in lesser hands the plot ingredients of Transcription (an innocent young girl, the war effort, espionage) might have procured a terrible sense of déjà vu in the mind of a prospective reader. However, against such considerable odds Atkinson manages to rustle up a riveting tale peppered with hook-inducing stratagems, intrigue and gaslighting. Despite its obvious thriller-like qualities, Transcription does not adhere to rules or limitations of any genre; it would appear to bolster more universal appeal instead, which is yet another of its many highly commendable features. Tampere City Library, Finland