Restless – William Boyd

Wow – A ripping yarn well told and well written. Who could ask for anything more? Not me. A terrific novel which opens with Ruth, a single mother and potential academic being given the news from her mother that she is not actually Sally Fairchild but in fact, Eva Delectorskaya. Eva was born in Russia, escaped the revolution to France and was there recruited by the British to be a spy.

The chapters move back and forth from Ruth to Eva and the tension builds nicely. Ruth is exposed to the Iranian protest of the Shah and the Red Army Faction, but that exposure doesn’t particularly go anywhere. The real story is with Eva. Still, it’s a handy reminder that no matter what time period we live in, there is always a threat from someone or other – threats may change but they don’t go away. Defeat one, you get another.

The female characters are very bright and resourceful. Eva is perhaps a bit unbelievably tough, but not so much that you have to suspend belief.

Boyd gives us some great stuff from the early part of WW2 particularly in respect to the involvement (or rather non involvement) of the US. It ties up really, really nicely at the end. A great read that was adapted to television. Think I may have a look at it.


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