*Shortlisted for the 2018 Baillie Gifford Prize*
*Shortlisted for the Specsavers National Book Awards 2018*
*A top 10 Sunday Times bestseller*
‘THE BEST TRUE SPY STORY I HAVE EVER READ‘ JOHN LE CARRÉ
A thrilling Cold War story about a KGB double agent, by one of Britain’s greatest historians
On a warm July evening in 1985, a middle-aged man stood at the pavement of a busy avenue in the heart of Moscow, holding a plastic carrier bag. In his grey suit and tie, he gave the impression of some other Soviet citizen. The bag on my own was once mildly conspicuous, printed with the red logo of Safeway, the British supermarket.
The man was once a spy for MI6. A senior KGB officer, for more than a decade he had supplied his British spymasters with a stream of priceless secrets from deep within the Soviet intelligence machine. No spy had done more to damage the KGB. The Safeway bag was once a signal: to activate his escape plan to be smuggled out of Soviet Russia.
So started probably the most boldest and most atypical episodes in the history of espionage. In The Spy and the Traitor Ben Macintyre reveals a tale of betrayal, duplicity and raw courage that changed the course of the Cold War perpetually.
‘Macintyre does true-life espionage better than somebody else. The Spy and the Traitor may well be his best book yet’ Evening Standard
‘A dazzling non-fiction thriller and an intimate portrait of high-stakes espionage’ Guardian
‘A real-life thriller, as tense as John le Carré’s novels, or even Ian Fleming’s’ Economist