Double Cross, By Ben Macintyre
Glittering reflections of the past in a chapel window
Boyd Tonkin is Senior Writer and a columnist at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Literary Editor at The Independent, and before that Social Policy Editor and then Books Editor at the New Statesman magazine. He has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes and has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize. In 2001, he re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for literature in translation, and serves on its judging panel every year.
Saturday 15 September 2012
Around the real preparations for D-Day, MI5 double agents – on the German payroll but secretly working for the British – spun what Churchill called "a bodyguard of lies".
Macintyre's enthralling book about their deceits, which persuaded Hitler that the main invasion force would land near Calais, follows five maverick spies with huge skill and panache.
From the famous Garbo, once a Catalan chicken-farmer, to a bisexual it-girl in Mayfair, and a truly heroic Wodehousian playboy, these oddball tricksters pulled off a mind-boggling success. BT
Macintyre's real coup comes with Johnnie Jebsen, the pleasure-loving playboy of the German Abwehr who hid his true allegiances and, when captured, exhibited a heroism that almost defies belief.
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