Cambridge University in 1937 is awash with ideas and idealists - to unworldly Joan it is dazzling. After a chance meeting with Russian-born Sonya and Leo, Joan is swept up in the glamour and energy of the duo, and finds herself growing closer and closer to them both. But allegiance is a slippery thing. Out of university and working in a government ministry with access to top-secret information, Joan finds her loyalty tested as she is faced with the most difficult question of all: what price would you pay to remain true to yourself?
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"A meditation on the secrets we keep...Red Joan's strength lies in the complex personal relationships that underpin the spying game... A powerfully-written exploration of the far-reaching consequences that even the smallest-seeming actions can have"
Literary Review||"A brilliant spy novel, with an unlikely culprit and a deft, involving plot...tense, beautifully pitched and very moving novel"
Marie Claire||"Sensitive spy thriller. Finely detailed and resolutely sensitive. This excellent period novel still carries some considerable resonance in the age of Bradley Manning"
Metro||"If you loved William Boyd's Restless, you'll enjoy this"
Red||"Compulsive reading... Rooney's approach it to make this a very personal story for Joan. There's love, loss, betrayal, friendship and secrets galore and it gives a believable insight on how one, normal person might be let to betray her country. The true mark of the story is that you find yourself thinking that you might have done exactly what Joan did in those circumstances"