1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
If you liked Enigma - you'll love this book,
By A Customer
This review is from: Between Silk and Cyanide : The Story of SOE's Code War (Hardcover)
Incredible book, I read it from 12-2am every night until finished Christmas '98. Absolutely gripping. I would love to see his original diaries. When did he find time to write his diaries during the War? The book starts off with his entrance into SOE by flunking Bletchley due to personality. ("Hard Man to teach... even harder one to place...." Descriptions of his mother's blackmarket supplies will have you in stitches/ROFL and takes great bride at poking fun at his own Jewish background.
From the outset he realises the weaknesses of Special Operations Executive "Poem Codes" and sets about a long endeavour to introduce more secure methods for agents in the field. The book is his story of how me made his dreams come true.
A cracking chapter entitled "Hard Men" narrates his interview with George Coutauld and Tommy Davis. He desperately needs to get fresh supplies of silk, as he has promised the printers silk but has also assured the silk suppliers that he has the printing facilities to make use of the silk provided. He has 3 weeks supply left from a department in the RAF then he's in trouble and needs to convince the Supply Directorate that his cause is worthy.
One can only assume that his life and for many others around him was actually like the picture he paints. Marks is a master storyteller and describes humorously what must have been an extremely frustrating bureaucratic bloodbath. As a round peg in a square hole of life I completely identified with him and would loved to have been a member of his "bedlam" team at SOE.
Mark Cross Jan 1999 (M1BXD)