McEwan acknowledges his debt to the historian David Martin for the true story of the Berlin Tunnel or Operation Gold. To this truth, McEwan has wedded a fiction of tragedy and a love story of a sort.
The Innocent is a startlingly prescient novel from Booker prize-winning Sunday Times bestselling author Ian McEwan.
Into a Berlin wrenched between East and West, comes twenty-five-year-old Leonard Marnham, assigned to a British-American surveillance team. Though only a pawn in an international plot, Leonard uses his secret work to escape the bonds of his ordinary life.
The promise of his new life begins to be fulfilled as Leonard becomes a crucial part of the surveillance team, while simultaneously being initiated into a new world of love and sex by Maria, a beautiful young German woman. It is a promise that turns to horror in the course of one terrible evening – a night when Leonard Marnham learns just how much of his innocence he’s willing to shed.
‘The plot crackles like thin ice with dread and suspense’ Mail on Sunday