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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 12 March 2015
Great read, couldn't put it down. Although the story is well-known Macintyre's book reads like a beautifully paced thriller and keeps the reader engrossed from start to finish.
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on 20 August 2014
Very well written and an enjoyable read as well as being informative. The author is clear that no one knows the 'whole truth' of the events described and that all of the principle characters give heavily biased versions but Mr Macintyre made me feel that, between the two of us, we could see through some of the smoke and mirrors to a version of the truth which is plausible. I love a book which provokes internal debate and conflicting thoughts and feelings and this one does it. An enjoyable summer holiday read. I've bought several other books by Mr Macintyre on the strength of this one.
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VINE VOICEon 30 May 2014
Possibly the best book that will be written on Kim Philby and his associates. In this book we go down the main highway of Philby's life as most of us know about but we slip off into little side streets where we are told things for the first time of Philby's life.

As with all Macintyre's books minutely researched and documented making it a simply superb read.
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on 25 February 2015
Great book. Literally couldn't put it down. Wonderfully written and pitched perfectly. Very intriguing and it's all true, or as close to the truth as we're going to get.
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on 7 August 2014
If ever a book proved that "truth is stranger than fiction", then this is it. I'm reading it thinking this would never happen - it's too far fetched! Then I remember it is true and did happen. I've watched many spy films and often thought they went beyond belief - never again.

A gripping story well written. Probably too many other people are mentioned and it can be a bit confusing trying to remember who's side they're on, but it doesn't really distract from the main story.

An excellent read, particularly if you like spy stories.
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on 10 August 2014
So much better than Mincemeat, all repetitions from his other books rewritten to provide essential background so this can be read with as much pleasure as a stand-alone book as as part of the phenomenal collection of other books that Mr Macintyre has written.

The story itself is shocking. One man betrayed hundreds and was responsible for the deaths of thousands all because the US and UK security forces fell for his charm and so did not believe that he was supplying his Soviet masters with better information than he supplied the West. Unputdownable!
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on 31 March 2015
Amazing to read how he got away with it for so long, and how his wasn't a victimless crime, in his selfish arrogance he was responsible for thousands of murders.
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on 16 October 2015
A wonderful account of the real thing. Amazing to think that due to lack of communication, as we use today, 'Spies' could carry on regardless with beautiful manners, great charm, Oxford background, dress sense (Except Burgess) and in general a great demeanour. There were so many of them - hope they are around today (not the double agents!) or are they all living in Switzerland - as seemed to be the case then......Loved this book all my era, but think the kids need to learn about these truly ruthless characters who had no regard for their Country.
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on 22 May 2015
An interesting read, keeps one's attention despite the outcome being known. There is nothing for it than to question the very basic professional competence of those involved. It has always been a shocker how this whole matter was mishandled, and this book, while concentrating perhaps a bit to much on 'letting one's friends down' rather than the whole professional ineptitude of those involved, only adds to the feeling. An interesting read, a good, if slightly slanted overview on the whole subject, and the whole matter never fails to amaze
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VINE VOICEon 31 May 2015
Ben MacIntyre writes more than just a biography. It is an in-depth analysis as to why Philby became a Russian agent and his relationship to fellow spy Nicholas Elliot.

This book will miss the mark for most spy fiction readers. However it is excellent for those that are interested in the real thing.

People that find this book interesting may also like Ace of Spies: The True Story of Sidney Reilly (Revealing History)

Reilly - Ace of Spies DVD ~ Sam Neill
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