Author(s): Helen Dunmore
"A deceptively simple masterpiece". (Independent on Sunday). "Will haunt you for months, if not years". (Guardian). "Outstanding ...if you only buy one book, make it this one". (Good Housekeeping). London, November, 1960: the Cold War is at its height. Spy fever fills the newspapers, and the political establishment knows how and where to bury its secrets. When a highly sensitive file goes missing, Simon Callington is accused of passing information to the Soviets, and arrested. His wife, Lily, suspects that his imprisonment is part of a cover-up, and that more powerful men than Simon will do anything to prevent their own downfall. She knows that she too is in danger, and must fight to protect her children. But what she does not realise is that Simon has hidden vital truths about his past, and may be found guilty of another crime that carries with it an even greater penalty.
"Helen Dunmore delivers a deceptively simple masterpiece, a new take on the lives of the men and -particularly - the women caught up in the cold war ... Exposure is magnificent" -- Cole Moreton Independent on Sunday "Dunmore packs an impressive amount on to a compact canvas. Full of convincing detail, the novel is as much about sexuality in the age of the Chatterley ban as about Whitehall skulduggery ... A dramatic mix of domesticity and derring-do ... Like many of the best spy novels, Exposure sets out to unsettle Britain's view of itself." Sunday Telegraph "Under its smooth, naturalistic surfaces, Exposure has a tightly wrought plot gripping as any thriller. But it is the union of this plot with complex, challenging characters that makes the book such a surprising and fulfilling read...will haunt you for months, if not years." -- Kate Clanchy Guardian "It is an intriguing set-up, and with Dunmore at its helm this tale of divided loyalties never lets up for a minute ... Dunmore is such a class act ... she sticks to the human essentials of her story, does not over-complicate things, and comes up trumps yet again." Mail on Sunday "Hers are expert hands at turning 20th-century history into gripping fiction." The Times "Exposure succeeds as a Cold War thriller as well as a psychological drama. It deals with some lurid events, but evokes the texture of time ... It offers in fact what Dunmore does best: a story of "desperate urgency, cloaked in the everyday" -- David Grylls Sunday Times "One of our most outstanding writers, Helen Dunmore has drawn inspiration from the classic spy novel for her latest book ... While it has all the thrill and menace of a John Le Carre novel, Dunmore is more interested in the personal ... An atmospheric read full of vivid characters - if you only buy one book this month make it this one." Good Housekeeping, Book of the Month "The danger with 'literary thrillers' is simple: the more literary a story is, the less thrilling it can be. There's a balance to be found, and Dunmore expertly weights both sides. She revels in layers of concealment. Beautiful poetic phrases, quite startling at times, enliven the eye and the mind." Spectator "Helen Dunmore's subtle tale of espionage and fear has a refreshingly human scale... It is, in many ways, a romance where salvation comes through a late, unexpected and generous act of love." Independent "Dunmore's treatment is distinctive. Her work as both a poet and a novelist, is characterised by its rich sensuality and the stark emotional truths at its core. This sensibility, along with the small domestic and personal details at which she excels, transcend genre..." -- Catherine Taylor Financial Times "Exposure is the sort of winter read you hanker for...the period is so meticulously re-created that you almost hear the hiss of the gas streetlamps" -- Melissa van der Klugt The Times "An intricately observed and emotionally powerful Cold War thriller that combines subtlety and complexity to create a deeply satisfying and moving book" -- Hannah Beckerman Sunday Express, S Magazine "Dunmore is one of our best modern historical novelists and fans of her previous books will be eagerly awaiting this new one. [Exposure is] set during the Cold War and follows a woman determined to protect her family against the odds." Metro "Dunmore is a very astute and skilful novelist... Exposure is as good as anything she has written; and that's very good indeed" -- Alan Massie The Scotsman "A novel about belonging, loneliness, love and the idea of home... Exposure is a fine addition to the shelves of cold war literature" -- Stephanie Merrit Observer
Helen Dunmore is the author of fourteen novels. Her first, Zennor in Darkness, explored the events which led to D H Lawrence's expulsion from Cornwall (on suspicion of spying) during the First World War. It won the McKitterick Prize. Her third novel, A Spell of Winter, won the inaugural Orange Prize, now the Bailey's Prize for Women's Fiction. Her bestselling novel The Siege, set during the Siege of Leningrad, was described by Antony Beevor as 'a world-class novel' and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year and the Orange Prize. She has also written a ghost story, The Greatcoat, under the Hammer imprint. She is fascinated by the Cold War era, which was also the era of her childhood, and is the setting for Exposure, and by the secrets, betrayals, loves, lies and loyalties which make up the period's intimate history. Helen Dunmore's work has been translated into more than thirty languages and she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.