indexWritten by Kate Atkinson, this novel skips back and forth between the present day of 1950 and 10 years earlier, when the protagonist, Juliet Armstrong, worked for MI5 during the war. She was tasked with typing up the conversations of known Nazi sympathizers and spies who met in the flat next door. Transcription is a character laden novel, with figures on both sides of the war fully fleshed out, from Mr.Toby, a British spy who is pretending to be a spy for the Gestapo ( and wore a “bashed trilby and old trench coat”) to Juliet, a quick thinking young woman who was able to help with the disposal of a body and the ensuing cleanup. It was a bit slow at times for me, and the cast of characters was tough to keep straight, but I enjoyed the surprising twist at the end of the novel. Recommended for those who enjoy character- driven fiction…

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