Donald Maclean was a star diplomat, an establishment insider and a keeper of some of the West’s greatest secrets. He was also a Russian spy…
Codenamed ‘Orphan’ by his Russian recruiter, Maclean was Britain’s most gifted traitor. But as he leaked huge amounts of top-secret intelligence, an international code-breaking operation was rapidly closing in on him. Moments before he was unmasked, Maclean escaped to Moscow.
Drawing on a wealth of previously classified material, A Spy Named Orphan now tells this story for the first time in full, revealing the character and devastating impact of perhaps the most dangerous Soviet agent of the twentieth century.
‘Fascinating… An exceptional story of espionage and betrayal, thrillingly told’
‘A cracking story… Impressively researched’
‘Philipps makes the story and the slow uncovering of [Maclean’s] treachery a gripping narrative’
"Brilliantly fluent...fascinating...[Philipps] writes so cleanly, and at such a clip, handling the big scenes with aplomb...This biography first grips and then lingers long in the mind. It is a page-turner of the most empathetic kind."
"Superb…full of contemporary relevance… Philipps relates the complex narrative of Maclean’s treason…with tremendous aplomb, limpidity and acuity"
"With A Spy Named Orphan, the last piece of this bizarre jigsaw falls into place. The outline story is familiar, but the amount of new detail here — on Maclean's personal, professional, and secret lives – exceeds all expectations. Roland Philipps has managed to make the new material come alive by relating it intimately to its historical context, of which he has a deep and sympathetic understanding."
"The definitive account of the life of a “gifted” traitor… Impressive… By drawing on a wealth of previously classified material, Philipps weaves a gripping tale of misplaced loyalty, intrigue and betrayal that is unlikely to be bettered"
"Fascinating and page-turning. An exceptional story of espionage and betrayal, thrillingly told. I devoured it."