Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
New girl: Britain's revered author is back with his first female protagonist since Atonement's Briony Tallis. Plot notes: Fresh out of college and broken by a love affair with an older man, Serena Frome lands a job with MI5, where she's recruited for a mission to perpetuate propaganda through a young writer. Persistence pays off: Readers might become frustrated with the layered structure of stories inside stories, but stick with it. The ending is genius. McEwan is known for his plot twists, and here he doesn't disappoint.