Tightrope Buy from other retailers

Publication Date: Nov 3, 2015

512 pp


List Price US: $15.95

ISBN: 978-1-59051-723-9

Trim Size: 5.60 x 8.30 x 1.00 in.


List Price US: $10.99

ISBN: 978-1-59051-724-6


List Price US: $18.99

ISBN: 978-1-63542-506-2

Trim Size: 0.00 x 0.00 x 0.00 in.


A Novel

“The characters in Simon Mawer’s latest spy thriller, Tightrope, set in the gray, exhausted, murky days of post-World War II England, spend a lot of time in tense encounters that pivot on the issue of who knows what, and who’s telling the truth about it…[Mawer] brings a fine sense of story, an intriguing plot and a lovely way with a sentence…Tightrope is full of satisfying twists, and we can’t help cheering for its tough, resourceful heroine…” —New York Times

“Mawer has excelled with another tangled, character-led literary thriller…A perfectly poised balancing act.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Outstanding…Mawer’s novel offers a meditation on the problem of identity in a world where everything is cover for something else. A spy novel with the psychological richness and complexity of literary fiction.” —Booklist (starred review)

“In Marian [Simon Mawer] has created a complex, contradictory heroine, emotionally fragile, endlessly resourceful, and unrepentantly amorous…[Tightrope] tells a dramatic story about one woman testing the boundaries of loyalty as one kind of war gives way to a shadowy new one.” —Publishers Weekly

“Heroine/’traitor’ Marian, introduced in Trapeze, is compelling and complicated…Excellent for historical thriller readers and those interested in the dawn of the nuclear era.” —Library Journal

“A fun, intelligent read.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Tightrope is a beautifully written, artfully considered post-WWII existential spy story.” —The Boston Herald/Hollywood & Mine Blog

“Mawer is a skillful writer and this is a sophisticated, deviously constructed story of a woman who finds her true self in the distorting mirrors of the intelligence game.” —The Sunday Times (UK)

“Mawer’s period detail is perfect, and his prose impeccable. Mawer’s greatest creation is undoubtedly Marian herself…Beautifully inferred and brilliantly imagined…It is difficult to create a character with genuine charisma, but Mawer seems to have managed it with Marian. She is indeed perhaps the closest thing to a female James Bond in English literature.” —The Guardian (UK)

“Mawer captures Marian’s disorientation with affecting conviction. His feeling for time and place remains impressively sharp, from rationing-era London to the ‘strange, febrile vitality’ of post-war Paris. Marian remains a compelling heroine, whose many contradictions are all believable.” —The Daily Telegraph (UK)

“Mawer sensitively evokes the crushing normality of post war Britain and the struggle of a woman who has lived in high definition to forge a new life in a grey world.” —The Times (UK)

“Sutro is a singular creation—a fascinating and compelling character and the account of how she becomes caught up in Cold War espionage is enthralling.” —The Sunday Mirror

“Marian is at the heart of the novel…She is a thoroughly and impressively imagined character.” —The Scotsman (UK)

“A compelling Cold War story…told by a series of flashbacks…start’s a slow burn, but Mawer soon grips you with his labyrinthine plot.” —The Tatler (UK)

“In Marian, Mawer has created an attractively awkward figure—damaged, resilient, self-contained and needing danger in order to become truly herself…It is Mawer’s focus on character as much as on action, and on recognizing the morally complex worlds in which those characters operate, that inescapably calls John le Carré to mind. Comparisons can be invidious though: Mawer is no acolyte and here shows again his own distinctive talent.” —Financial Times (UK)

Tightrope is a nuanced spy novel akin to the best work of John le Carré, in that it bypasses the cloak-and-dagger conventions in pursuit of the noble flaws, foibles and idiosyncrasies that lie at the heart of the most fascinating spies…Mawer delivers an absorbing tale about an extraordinary woman who finds her understanding of duty, patriotism and honour ripped to shreds by epoch-defining circumstances.” —The Irish Times

Tightrope is an excellent thriller with superb writing and a captivating sense of history.” —A Writer of History

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