Double Cross, By Ben Macintyre
Glittering reflections of the past in a chapel window
Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
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.
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 3 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
Lucy, film review: Scarlett Johansson will blow your mind in Luc Besson's complex thriller
Miley Cyrus concert banned on morality grounds in the Dominican Republic
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
American film board gives gay film Love Is Strange R-rating despite no sex or violence
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians