It's the most tightly plotted of Ian McEwan's novels, and to argue properly for its excellence would involve showing how the political and emotional themes are inseparable from its narrative ingenuity, the patterns of revelation and about-turn which mark its final pages.
Jonathan Coe, Guardian
The sheer cleverness of the book is dazzling, and only fully to be appreciated as you turn the last page: but then cleverness is a real virtue here, the best guide possible to the questionable territory between innocence and whatever comes after
London Review of Books
To call The Innocent a spy novel would be like calling Lord of the Flies a boy's adventure yarn - the plot crackles like thin ice with dread and suspense - it ensure McEwan's major status