As Allied forces close in on Berlin in spring 1945, a solitary figure emerges from the wreckage that is Germany. It is Marian Sutro, whose existence was last known to her British controllers in autumn 1943 in Paris when she was captured by the Gestapo. Now she is one of a handful of surviving agents of the Special Operations Executive. She has withstood arrest, interrogation, incarceration and the horrors of Ravensbrück concentration camp, but at what cost? Returned to an England she barely knows and a post-war world she doesn’t understand Marian searches for something on which to ground the rest of her life. Family and friends surround her and a young RAF officer attempts to bring her the normalities of love and affection but she is haunted by her experiences. She had learnt to become invisible in the streets of Paris, to kill and survive torture and imprisonment - now she must learn to adapt again, this time to the strange normality of life in post-war England.

But while Marian tries to rebuild her life and cast off her identity as an agent and heroine of the resistance, the memories of torture, heartbreak and betrayal won't leave her - and nor will the longing for adventure. When her old handler tempts her back into the shadowy world of espionage, the need to serve the greater good proves hard to ignore. Drawn deep into the dark heart of Cold War politics, Marian must risk everything to protect those she loves, to serve the cause she believes in and - most of all- to follow her own desires.

A powerful examination of the complex idealism and courage of those who continued the fight for peace when the second world war was over, Tightrope is also the story of on unforgettable woman: assassin and survivor, heroine and traitor.

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Simon Mawer 2008 - 2018. This website is written and maintained by the author.