It’s the midst of the Cold War and spies are everywhere. When an old friend calls Simon and asks him to be a dear ole’ chap and pick something up to deliver back to the office, Simon gets a bad feeling. But he does it.
That action proves to be his undoing. Simon is arrested, his family are forced to flee and the men involved know enough about his scandalous past – his explicit love affair with the same man who called him – to make him take the fall. Can his wife, Lily, prove Simon is innocent before it’s too late?
Author: Helen Dunmore
Book Review: Exposure by Helen Dunmore
How much did I enjoy Exposure? Let’s just say I was prepared to not get off my train in order to finish it, that’s how much! (I finished it the minute before I pulled into my station – which was at the end of the line!) The book was full of suspense, the characterisation was great and I had my fingers and toes crossed that everything would work out.
It was the characters that made it for me. I was fully prepared to hate Giles at the beginning, but as the novel unfolds, I felt for him. He comes down to a lonely man who had something good (and forbidden), lost it and now has no one to visit him in hospital. I was reluctant to like him, but he worked his way in.
Simon was adequate – he was motivated, driven and genuinely a decent guy. But Lily was the heroine of the story. She was the one with the courage to act decisively and in doing so, saved her family more than once. Finding out she had given everything up once before to escape Nazi Germany only adds depth to her character.
Julian Clowde was a detestable character. But he was supposed to be, showing the writing did its job!
Exposure moved at a steady pace with increased tension throughout – hence my almost-refusal to leave the train. Realising how those in charge have entrapped Simon and his family made you feel for them and you wanted justice.
For the majority of the book, there was no hope for this family and it made you keep reading, desperate to find out how – or even if – they were going to get out of this and what the consequences would be.
The writing was strong even with a few clichés (too many “dear old chaps for me!) and the ending was satisfying.
If you enjoy a novel full of secrets, then Helen Dunmore has written a real treat for you. How much did I enjoy Exposure? A lot! One I would happily read again and recommend for anyone looking for a good read!
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