I wanted to read something fairly short last weekend, so picked Ian McEwan’s Amsterdam off the bookshelf, not knowing anything about it.  The blurb on the back cover does not give much away: it merely mentions the early death of a famous beauty (Molly Lane, aged 46) and lists some old lovers who have now been left to ponder circumstances.

Having now read the novel – and without giving anything away – the first thing I will say is that it has very little to do with the city of the title, and even less to do with duals. At least, little to do with duals in the conventional sense, that is.

Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

Amsterdam is really a morality tale; a study in personal greed and blind ambition. And, like Ian McEwan’s other novels, we find that a single event can have far-reaching consequences.