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Finally, John Updike tackles one of America’s most burning issues in his extraordinary and highly charged new novel – the threat of Islamist terror from within.

Updike said that, “writers in so far as they perform a public service, try to expand your sympathies and lead the readers’ sympathies into places where they wouldn’t ordinarily go. I thought a terrorist could be a good place for Americans to try to see from within”.

Set in contemporary New Jersey, Terrorist traces the journey of one young man, Ahmad, from radicalism to fundamentalism to terrorism, against the backdrop of a fraying urban landscape and an increasingly fragmented community.

Updike looks at America, post 9/11 to create a gripping, searing and meticulously exact portrait of what it means to be alienated and powerless in the early years of the 21st century. Certainly Updike dramatises, in beautiful prose, the logic of the fundamentalist terrorist – but also suggests ways in which we can counter it, in our words and our actions.

Terrorist is available now priced at 11 euros.