Tale of 1940s Brooklyn slips into a pastiche of classic noir

Fiction: Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan, Little, Brown, €20.00

Jennifer Egan... 'the knot of "Manhattan Beach" feels tangled at times’

Duncan White

In Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan's much-anticipated fifth novel, we find ourselves in the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1942. One shipworker, 19-year-old Anna Kerrigan, has persuaded the lieutenant in charge to let her take the test that all prospective divers must pass, so that she can work on the hulls of ships. He lets her try only because he expects her to fail.