While the prose here is beautiful, and the situation—a woman recruited during the Cold War to work for Britain’s MI5—interesting, as a short story this falls completely flat for me. I kept waiting for something surprising to happen, and it didn’t. Everything about it seems trite. Although it has a nice narrative arc and good tension, a story about adultery that meets a bad end is just too stale. Yes, the MI5 angle is interesting, but that’s about it. As a piece of the novel I suspect it’s fine, and I might even read this book, but I wish The New Yorker wouldn’t do this to us.