Restless, by William Boyd


Restless once more reflects William Boyd’s fascination with the intricate power plays involved in a much more realistic version of espionage. The novel follows two narratives, merging both past and present as a mature student, Ruth, seeks to unravel the exciting past of her mother, Eva Delectorskaya, delving into her involvement in and around the Second World War.

Boyd moves away from the deadly nature of the spying world which a plethora of books and entertainment have drilled into us since the first time Ian Fleming brought Bond to life, though he certainly retains a classic British level of suave. Mystery and distrust fill every page, as Eva’s introduction to the intelligence world is gradually unfolded to her daughter. With Ruth being a student, Boyd masterfully lures the historical nature of the past into the reality of the present. The use of different timelines offers an interesting way to suggest that, for those sworn to secrecy in the intelligence world, the life of a spy never truly ends.

Length: 336 (Bloomsbury)

Overall rating: 3.5 stars

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Author: Jack Jakins

A recent graduate of history, now an aspiring writer and general cynicist

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