Dr Henry Perowne, a London neurosurgeon, awakens in the middle of the
night, strolls to his bedroom window, and sees a burning plane hurtling toward
Heathrow Airport. He might take the occurrence as a harbinger of the momentously
unsettling day to come. But Perowne is not a man inclined to believe in portents.
Would that he were.
Fear of terrorism hangs in the background of Saturday, Ian McEwan’s latest novel, like an evil apparition, first conjured
by the flaming aircraft and later made explicit by Perowne’s musings:
“There are people around the planet, well-connected and organized, who
would like to kill him and his family to make a point.” Toward the end
of Saturday Perowne’s reflections hover—haunting—eerily
Weiss S. Fiction. JAMA. 2005;294(10):1279–1280. doi:10.1001/jama.294.10.1279
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