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Dead Doubles: The Portland Spy Ring [9781474609104]

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The Portland Spy Ring was one of the most notorious spy cases from the Cold War. It seized international attention and revealed the shadowy world of deep cover KGB spies operating under false identities ('illegals').

The CIA's revelation to MI5 that a KGB agent was stealing crucial secrets from the sensitive submarine research base at Portland in Dorset looked initially like a dangerous but contained lapse of security by a British man and his mistress. But the unsuspecting couple passed the secrets to a Canadian businessman, Gordon Lonsdale. Lonsdale in turn led MI5's spycatchers to an innocent-looking couple in suburban Ruislip called the Krogers, who were transmitting the vital information to Moscow. A sudden defection forced the arrest of the spy ring.

The Krogers were discovered to be two of the most important Russian 'illegals' ever. The Americans had been searching for them for years. In a previous undercover life they had been a conduit to the KGB atomic spies at Los Alamos. And Lonsdale was no Canadian, but a senior KGB controller called Konon Molody - who years later turned out to have been running other key Soviet agents in the UK.

This astonishing but true story of MI5's spyhunt is straight from the world of John le Carre. It criss-crosses the world between the USSR, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Europe and the UK, and ends with dramatic spy swaps familiar to viewers of Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies. This extraordinary story is a fascinating vignette of the Cold War stand-off between the USSR and the West, and a case that fully justified the West's paranoia about infiltration and treachery.

AUTHOR: Trevor Barnes studied espionage and the early history of the CIA as a history student at the University of Cambridge and as a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard. His research was published in The Historical Journal. Subsequently he worked as a BBC radio and TV journalist on programmes including Radio 4's Today and BBC Two's Newsnight. He is the author of three crime novels and also researched and wrote Trial at Torun, a radio play about the trial in Poland of a secret-service murder case. He lives in West London.
Delivery usually in 2-6 working days.
Trevor Barnes
Weidenfeld & Nicolson
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604 Grams
  • 5
    Dead Doubles by Trevor Barnes

    Posted by PDC on 14th Feb 2021

    A well researched and very readable book. Kept me enthralled from cover to cover.