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Restless by William Boyd
Restless begins in the summer of 1976 when Ruth Gilmartin, a postgraduate student at Oxford, is given folders of papers by her mother that tells of her real past. Ruth has always known her mother as Sally Gilmartin, but in reality she was Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian emigré recruited to spy for the British government in the years leading up to and during World War II. She was recruited by the charismatic Lucas Romer and stationed in the United States to plant information to convince them to join the war. She was ultimately betrayed, and now, decades later, she's using her story to exact her revenge. Her story is woven through with Ruth's story in 1976, where she teaches English to Iranians and puts up boarders who might belong to a German terrorist group. Her own life may come under scrutiny of foreign spy services. William Boyd's novel has received positive reviews with The Independent saying, "It's a final few pages both page-turning and deft, leaving us with a moving feeling that it is our histories, and our ever-changing, private interpretations of them, that render us ultimately unknowable. Restless is that rare thing: a spy thriller from a first-rate narrative intelligence."