Sweet Tooth

Photo: Eamonn Mccabe

15 of 16
Sweet Tooth
320 pages; Nan A. Talese
Ian McEwan deliciously blends romantic passion and Cold War machinations in his latest novel, Sweet Tooth. Hired fresh out of Cambridge by England's domestic intelligence agency, MI5, beautiful bookworm Serena Frome is tasked with enlisting aspiring author Tom Haley into operation Sweet Tooth, which covertly funds writers who espouse anti-Communist views. The goal, as one agency official puts it: to "make it intellectually respectable to speak up for the Free World." Believing Serena works for an arts foundation that wants to encourage his talent, Tom accepts a monthly stipend. When the two fall in love (as, of course, they must), deception piles upon deception, until a twist at the end casts the entire story in a new light. Reading Sweet Tooth is, to steal from a review of Tom's work, "like being driven too fast round tight corners."
— K.H.