Reviews

  • The best true spy story I have ever read

    John le Carré
  • Macintyre does true-life espionage better than anyone else. He has a remarkable ability to construct a narrative that is as taut and urgent as it is carefully nuanced. Here the pace never slackens and the focus never drifts, while Macintyre's insight into his subject's tangle of contradictions never loses its sharpness. It's a tough call, but The Spy and the Traitor may well be his best book yet.

    John Preston, Evening Standard
  • A real-life thriller, as tense as John le Carré's novels, or even Ian Fleming's

    Economist
  • A dazzling non-fiction thriller and an intimate portrait of high-stakes espionage

    Luke Harding, Guardian
  • [A] captivating espionage tale. In a feat of real authorial dexterity, Macintyre accurately portrays the long-game banality of spycraft-the lead time and persistence in planning-with such clarity and propulsive verve that the book often feels like a thriller. Macintyre has produced a timely and insightful page-turner.

    Publishers Weekly
  • It has become a cliché to say that real-life spy stories read like John le Carré, but Gordievsky's personal history makes the comparison irresistible... Macintyre tells the story brilliantly. His book's final third is superbly done

    Dominic Sandbrook, Book of the Week, Sunday Times
  • The fact that parts of The Spy and the Traitor read like a pacey thriller is a bonus, but it is based on serious research, including interviews with Gordievsky and anonymous British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) officers... This is a remarkable story of one man's courage, and of the skill of our much traduced security services. Ben Macintyre tells it very well indeed

    The Times, Book of the Week
  • You can always rely on this author to tease out fascinating details on the second oldest profession

    Sunday Express
  • Writing about cases of British espionage success that the public knows little about, he says - 'It takes an investigator of consummate talent and a narrator of equal skill to unearth one of these triumphs and explain it clearly. Ben Macintyre, who is both, has done exactly that.

    Frederick Forsyth, Literary Review
  • Macintyre's account brings it to life in vivid technicolor with fascinating new details. He tells it with all the verve we have come to expect from such an accomplished writer

    Spectator

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