It is clear that this is one of the best opening chapters ever published. The balloon tragedy, as terrible as it is, is only the start of the drama.
I was disappointed by the ending because I was sure that the clues were leading me in a different direction. I’m not sure whether this was an intentional sleight of hand by McEwan.
The exploration of de Clerambault’s syndrome makes this a psychological thriller as well as a gripping read.