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3.0 out of 5 stars Supposedly a true story, 27 Mar. 2014
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Silver Surfer (London UK) - See all my reviews
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There are several books that tell what is essentially the same story but they all dramatically differ from one another.

Sidney Reilly was a self-designated spy from before the beginning of the 20th Century. However, considerable doubt arises as Reilly was an inveterate liar, a fraud, fantasist, thief, serial philanderer and possible murderer (several lady friends, colleagues or opponents disappeared under mysterious circumstances). Much of his travelling was done without any form of officially recognised documentation as details of his birth and true identity are as dubious and unconfirmed as is much ever written about the man. He could not tell the same story twice without there being significant change from a previous telling and much of this book was supposedly written by his last 'wife' after Reilly's presumed disappearance and demise and is based upon episodes that he related to her.

On whose behalf Reilly had spied is unclear and there is little evidence that he was officially recognised by Britain or any other nation. His activities were primarily about securing finances by means fair or foul and he cared little about who footed his bills. However, nothing he did defined him as a spy.

Because this version of the story supposedly came from the hand and mouth of Reilly himself, his lies and tales are believable only if you accept them as having some inherent truth.

NB - the copy I purchased was supposedly rated 'Very Good' for condition but is heavily yellowed throughout and the cover is barely attached.
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3.0 out of 5 stars One needs to do a bit of background reading before ..., 26 Dec. 2014
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Mr Pooter (Lisbon, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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One needs to do a bit of background reading before reading this "autobiography:" it is really a two part story of Reilly's later years and the second part is his wife's (third wife?) story of how she tried to find out how her husband died. So, read "Go spy the land" by Reilly's equally brave pal, Captain George Hill, but start off with Robin Bruce Lockhart's "Reilly, ace of spies" for the necessary background to the period and for the explanation of Reilly's sudden blossoming into the world of espionage.
When one considers that Reilly could have rid the world of the Soviet version of Communism before it became entrenched but for the dithering of Whitehall and, more immediately, the treachery of a French double agent, one wishes that today's world also had its Reillys.
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Britain's Master Spy: The Adventures of Sidney Reilly
Britain's Master Spy: The Adventures of Sidney Reilly by Signey Reilly (Hardcover - Feb. 1986)
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