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The Spy and the Traitor

336 ratings

Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. The number one Sunday Times best seller Shortlisted for the 2018 Baillie Gifford Prize A thrilling Cold War story about a KGB double agent, by one of Britain's greatest historians - now with a new afterword. On a warm July evening in 1985, a middle-aged man stood on the pavement of a busy avenue in the heart of Moscow, holding a plastic carrier bag. In his grey suit and tie, he looked like any other Soviet citizen. The bag alone was mildly conspicuous, printed with the red logo of Safeway, the British supermarket. The man was a spy. A senior KGB officer, for more than a decade he had supplied his British spymasters with a stream of priceless secrets from deep within the Soviet intelligence machine. No spy had done more to damage the KGB. The Safeway bag was a signal: to activate his escape plan to be smuggled out of Soviet Russia. So began one of the boldest and most extraordinary episodes in the history of spying. Ben Macintyre reveals a tale of espionage, betrayal and raw courage that changed the course of the Cold War forever....

©2018 Ben MacIntyre (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

Narrator: Ben Macintyre
Length: 14 hrs and 32 mins
Available on Audible
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Ghost Story

263 ratings

Summary

When an unknown someone shoots him and leaves him to die, Harry Dresden hopes he might be heading to a better place. Unfortunately being dead doesn't make Harry's life any easier. Trapped between life and death, he learns that his friends are in serious trouble. Only by finding his murderer can he save his friends and move on - a feat that would be a lot easier if he had a body and access to his powers. Worse still are the malevolent shadows that roam Chicago, controlled by a dark entity that wants Harry to suffer even in death. Now the late Harry Dresden will have to pull off the ultimate trick without using any magic - or face an eternity as just another lost soul....

©2012 Jim Butcher (P)2015 Penguin Audio

Length: 17 hrs and 36 mins
Available on Audible
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The Spy and the Traitor

72 ratings

Summary

New York Times Best Seller

The celebrated author of Double Cross and Rogue Heroes returns with his greatest spy story yet, a thrilling Americans-era tale of Oleg Gordievsky, the Russian whose secret work helped hasten the end of the Cold War.

“The best true spy story I have ever read.” (John Le Carré)

If anyone could be considered a Russian counterpart to the infamous British double-agent Kim Philby, it was Oleg Gordievsky. The son of two KGB agents and the product of the best Soviet institutions, the savvy, sophisticated Gordievsky grew to see his nation's communism as both criminal and philistine. He took his first posting for Russian intelligence in 1968 and eventually became the Soviet Union's top man in London, but from 1973 on he was secretly working for MI6. For nearly a decade, as the Cold War reached its twilight, Gordievsky helped the West turn the tables on the KGB, exposing Russian spies and helping to foil countless intelligence plots, as the Soviet leadership grew increasingly paranoid at the United States's nuclear first-strike capabilities and brought the world closer to the brink of war. Desperate to keep the circle of trust close, MI6 never revealed Gordievsky's name to its counterparts in the CIA, which in turn grew obsessed with figuring out the identity of Britain's obviously top-level source. Their obsession ultimately doomed Gordievsky: the CIA officer assigned to identify him was none other than Aldrich Ames, the man who would become infamous for secretly spying for the Soviets.   

Unfolding the delicious three-way gamesmanship between America, Britain, and the Soviet Union, and culminating in the gripping cinematic beat-by-beat of Gordievsky's nail-biting escape from Moscow in 1985, Ben Macintyre's latest may be his best yet. Like the greatest novels of John le Carré, it brings listeners deep into a world of treachery and betrayal, where the lines bleed between the personal and the professional, and one man's hatred of communism had the power to change the future of nations.

©2018 Ben Macintyre (P)2018 Random House Audio

Narrator: John Lee
Length: 13 hrs and 20 mins
Available on Audible
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Rogue Heroes

59 ratings

Summary

The incredible untold story of WWII's greatest secret fighting force, as told by our great modern master of wartime intrigue. Britain's Special Air Service - or SAS - was the brainchild of David Stirling, a young, gadabout aristocrat whose aimlessness in early life belied a remarkable strategic mind. Where most of his colleagues looked at a battlefield map of World War II's African theater and saw a protracted struggle with Rommel's desert forces, Stirling saw an opportunity: Given a small number of elite, well-trained men, he could parachute behind enemy lines and sabotage their airplanes and war matériel. Paired with his constitutional opposite, the disciplined martinet Jock Lewes, Stirling assembled a revolutionary fighting force that would upend not just the balance of the war but the nature of combat itself. He faced no little resistance from those who found his tactics ungentlemanly or beyond the pale, but in the SAS' remarkable exploits facing the Nazis in Africa and then on the continent can be found the seeds of nearly all special forces units that would follow. Bringing his keen eye for psychological detail to a riveting wartime narrative, Ben Macintyre uses his unprecedented access to SAS archives to shine a light inside a legendary unit long shrouded in secrecy. The result is not just a tremendous war story but a fascinating group portrait of men of whom history and country asked the most.

©2016 Ben Macintyre (P)2016 Random House Audio

Length: 13 hrs and 1 min
Available on Audible
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Agent Zigzag

42 ratings

Summary

Eddie Chapman was a charming criminal, a con man, and a philanderer. He was also one of the most remarkable double agents Britain has ever produced. Inside the traitor was a man of loyalty; inside the villain was a hero. The problem for Chapman, his spymasters, and his lovers was to know where one persona ended and the other began.  In 1941, after training as a German spy in occupied France, Chapman was orders orders from the Abwehr to blow up an airplane factory in Britain. Instead, he contacted MI5, the British Secret Service. For the next four years, Chapman worked as a double agent, a lone British spy at the heart of the German Secret Service.    Crisscrossing Europe under different names, all the while weaving plans, spreading disinformation, and, miraculously, keeping his stories straight under intense interrogation, he even managed to gain some profit and seduce beautiful women along the way.  The Nazis feted Chapman as a hero and awarded him the Iron Cross. In Britain, he was pardoned for his crimes, becoming the only wartime agent to be thus rewarded.  Sixty years after the end of the war, and 10 years after Chapman’s death, MI5 has now declassified all of Chapman’s files, releasing more than 1,800 pages of top secret material and allowing the full story of Agent Zigzag to be told for the first time. 

©2007 Ben MacIntyre (P)2007 Books on Tape

Narrator: John Lee
Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
Available on Audible
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Agent Sonya

41 ratings

Summary

The “master storyteller” (San Francisco Chronicle) behind the New York Times best seller The Spy and the Traitor uncovers the true story behind the Cold War’s most intrepid female spy. “[An] immensely exciting, fast-moving account.” (The Washington Post) NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Foreign Affairs • Kirkus Reviews • Library Journal In 1942, in a quiet village in the leafy English Cotswolds, a thin, elegant woman lived in a small cottage with her three children and her husband, who worked as a machinist nearby. Ursula Burton was friendly but reserved, and spoke English with a slight foreign accent. By all accounts, she seemed to be living a simple, unassuming life. Her neighbors in the village knew little about her. They didn’t know that she was a high-ranking Soviet intelligence officer. They didn’t know that her husband was also a spy, or that she was running powerful agents across Europe. Behind the facade of her picturesque life, Burton was a dedicated Communist, a Soviet colonel, and a veteran agent, gathering the scientific secrets that would enable the Soviet Union to build the bomb. This true-life spy story is a masterpiece about the woman code-named “Sonya”. Over the course of her career, she was hunted by the Chinese, the Japanese, the Nazis, MI5, MI6, and the FBI - and she evaded them all. Her story reflects the great ideological clash of the twentieth century - between Communism, Fascism, and Western democracy - and casts new light on the spy battles and shifting allegiances of our own times. With unparalleled access to Sonya’s diaries and correspondence and never-before-seen information on her clandestine activities, Ben Macintyre has conjured a pause-resisting history of a legendary secret agent, a woman who influenced the course of the Cold War and helped plunge the world into a decades-long standoff between nuclear superpowers.

©2020 Ben Macintyre (P)2020 Random House Audio

Narrator: Ben Macintyre
Length: 14 hrs and 14 mins
Available on Audible
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A Spy Among Friends

33 ratings

Summary

Master storyteller Ben Macintyre's most ambitious work to date offers a powerful new angle on the 20th century's greatest spy story. Kim Philby was the greatest spy in history, a brilliant and charming man who rose to head Britain's counterintelligence against the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War - while he was secretly working for the enemy. And nobody thought he knew Philby like Nicholas Elliott, Philby's best friend and fellow officer in MI6. The two men had gone to the same schools, belonged to the same exclusive clubs, grown close through the crucible of wartime intelligence work and long nights of drink and revelry. It was madness for one to think the other might be a communist spy, bent on subverting Western values and the power of the free world. But Philby was secretly betraying his friend. Every word Elliott breathed to Philby was transmitted back to Moscow - and not just Elliott's words, for in America, Philby had made another powerful friend: James Jesus Angleton, the crafty, paranoid head of CIA counterintelligence. Angleton's and Elliott's unwitting disclosures helped Philby sink almost every important Anglo-American spy operation for twenty years, leading countless operatives to their doom. Even as the web of suspicion closed around him, and Philby was driven to greater lies to protect his cover, his two friends never abandoned him - until it was too late. The stunning truth of his betrayal would have devastating consequences on the two men who thought they knew him best, and on the intelligence services he left crippled in his wake. Told with heart-pounding suspense and keen psychological insight, and based on personal papers and never-before-seen British intelligence files, A Spy Among Friends is Ben Macintyre's best book yet, a high-water mark in Cold War history telling.

©2014 Ben Macintyre (P)2014 Random House Audio

Narrator: John Lee
Length: 11 hrs
Available on Audible
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Double Cross

18 ratings

Summary

In his celebrated best sellers Agent Zigzag and Operation Mincemeat, Ben Macintyre told the dazzling true stories of a remarkable WWII double agent and of how the Allies employed a corpse to fool the Nazis and assure a decisive victory. In Double Cross, Macintyre returns with the untold story of the grand final deception of the war and of the extraordinary spies who achieved it.

On June 6, 1944, 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy and suffered an astonishingly low rate of casualties. D-Day was a stunning military accomplishment, but it was also a masterpiece of trickery. Operation Fortitude, which protected and enabled the invasion, and the Double Cross system, which specialized in turning German spies into double agents, deceived the Nazis into believing that the Allies would attack at Calais and Norway rather than Normandy. It was the most sophisticated and successful deception operation ever carried out, ensuring that Hitler kept an entire army awaiting a fake invasion, saving thousands of lives, and securing an Allied victory at the most critical juncture in the war.

The story of D-Day has been told from the point of view of the soldiers who fought in it, the tacticians who planned it, and the generals who led it. But this epic event in world history has never before been told from the perspectives of the key individuals in the Double Cross System. These include its director (a brilliant, urbane intelligence officer), a colorful assortment of MI5 handlers (as well as their counterparts in Nazi intelligence), and the five spies who formed Double Cross’s nucleus: a dashing Serbian playboy, a Polish fighter-pilot, a bisexual Peruvian party girl, a deeply eccentric Spaniard with a diploma in chicken farming and a volatile Frenchwoman, whose obsessive love for her pet dog very nearly wrecked the entire plan. The D-Day spies were, without question, one of the oddest military units ever assembled, and their success depended on the delicate, dubious relationship between spy and spymaster, both German and British. Their enterprise was saved from catastrophe by a shadowy sixth spy whose heroic sacrifice is revealed here for the first time.

With the same depth of research, eye for the absurd and masterful storytelling that have made Ben Macintyre an international bestseller, Double Cross is a captivating narrative of the spies who wove a web so intricate it ensnared Hitler’s army and carried thousands of D-Day troops across the Channel in safety.

©2012 Random House Audio (P)2012 Agentstvo Publishing

Narrator: John Lee
Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
Available on Audible
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Operation Mincemeat

13 ratings

Summary

As plans got under way for the Allied invasion of Sicily in June 1943, British counter-intelligence agent Ewen Montagu masterminded a scheme to mislead the Germans into thinking the next landing would occur in Greece. The innovative plot was so successful that the Germans moved some of their forces away from Sicily, and two weeks into the real invasion still expected an attack in Greece. This extraordinary operation called for a dead body, dressed as a Royal Marine officer and carrying false information about a pending Allied invasion of Greece, to wash up on a Spanish shore near the town of a known Nazi agent. Agent Montagu tells the story as only an insider could, offering fascinating details of the difficulties involved - especially in creating a persona for a man who never was - and of his profession as a spy and the risks involved in mounting such a complex operation. Failure could have had devastating results. Success, however, brought a decided change in the course of the war.

©2001 Ewen Montagu (P)2010 Random House

Narrator: John Lee
Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
Available on Audible