Ian McEwan will be taking a very unconventional take on witness protection in his latest novel, Nutshell, which will be arriving on hardback later this year. It sounds a bit like Look Who’s Talking meets Agatha Christie, but with McEwan crafting the novel we’ll be very surprised if it turns out to be as random and silly as it first appears.
It all sounds a bit cryptic, and it’s probably meant to, because this is McEwan taking a foray into crime drama territory and you can bet your last Rolo that there’ll be a twist before it all comes to a head. You’ve only got to trawl through his back catalogue with the most cursory of glances to remind yourself that this is an author that shocks, challenges and questions, digging at the darker veins of humanity, society and history, so you should expect some of this to come through in his latest work too.
The story is a classic tale of murder most foul, but unlike any of its genre predecessors, this seems to be told from the perspective of an unborn child. The child in question is ensconced inside the womb of Trudy, who has just betrayed her husband John, but she remains in their rundown London townhouse, which is worth a fortune despite its ramshackle state, and she’s hatching a plan with John’s brother Claude.
However, with the nine-month-old, soon to be born, Marple-like witness, their little plot has zero chance of going completely unnoticed.
The book promises to be a tough one to wrap your head around conceptually, with such an odd situation to build around, so the question is whether or not it will be in the same league as his more well-recieved back catalogue, or if it will be too outlandish to draw you in.
Nutshell will be released on hardback, digital download and audio book on the 1st September 2016, making it a possible contender for autumnal read lists for Ian McEwan and crime drama fans. It’s a relatively short novel at just over 200 pages, so there won’t be much room to land the concept, but then this is an author who managed to win the Booker Prize with a novella.
It’s the author’s fourteenth novel and with the likes of Enduring Love, Amsterdam and Atonement in his back catalogue, it’s got the potential to be a huge international bestseller when it hits the bookshelves. While Solar didn’t quite live up to expectations, we’re intrigued to find out how the new book is going to pull off such a left field premise.
[themify_button style=”large yellow rect” color=”#ffffff” link=”http://www.tuppencemagazine.co.uk/solar-by-ian-mcewan/” text=”#000000" target=”_blank” ]• Read our review of Ian McEwan’s Solar[/[/themify_button]p>