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Jennie Rooney

© Mark Pringle

Jennie Rooney

Jennie Rooney was born in Liverpool in 1980. She studied history at the University of Cambridge and taught English in France before moving to London to work as an attorney. Her first novel, Inside the Whale, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award.

All Jennie Rooney's books

Latest reviews

  • Red Joan is an excellent novel based on the true story of an octogenarian British woman who was revealed to be the KGB's oldest living British operative. Of course what everyone wanted to know was, why? In the case of real life, the woman was a die-hard Communist true believer,...
    — Oct 9 2014
  • On a quiet Sunday morning in the London suburb of Sidcup, an eighty-seven-year-old widow hears that an elderly acquaintance has died. The newspaper obituary for Sir William Mitchell contains a few small revelations: childhood polio, for instance. But the official cause of death...
    — Aug 1 2014
  • British author Jennie Rooney, who studied history at Cambridge, was first inspired to write this story of spies within Britain’s top secret atomic research labs when she read a newspaper article in 1999 about Melita Norwood, age eighty-seven, who was revealed to have been...
    — Jul 23 2014
  • “Red Joan” is an absorbing, intelligent tale from British writer Jennie Rooney. It’s loosely based on a real-life figure from World War II: Lettie Norwood, who in 1999 — at age 87 — was outed as the Russian spy system’s longest-serving British agent.
    — Jul 13 2014
  • Just in time for summer reading comes this multifaceted thriller: part historical fiction, gripping spy tale, period novel of the 1930s, and inside look at the political intrigue that ended World War II. Red Joan is inspired by the real-life Melita Norwood, unmasked...
    — Jul 2 2014
  • A World War II spy novel that delves into the complex reasons for betrayals of both country and friends. In 2005, an old English woman is being interrogated about her past when it's suspected that she was a traitor to her country. The questions lead her to relive...
    — Jun 19 2014
  • Jennie Rooney's Red Joan (Europa Editions/Penguin Group (USA), July 1, 2014) is fiction, but inspired by the Melita Norwood story. Frankly, Mrs. Norwood seems to have been a deadly dull woman, so fiction was definitely the way to go. Rooney's Joan Stanley is a loving mother...
    — May 27 2014
  • Desperate times call for desperate measures in Rooney’s second novel (after Inside the Whale), a page-turning saga of spies, conflicted loyalty, and the grave consequences of good intentions, inspired by the true story of an Englishwoman, Melita Norwood, who was unmasked...
    — May 5 2014


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