This week’s choice is the true story of a band of double agents who helped win the Second World War…
The D-Day landings in June 1944 were the turning point in the Second World War as the Allies bamboozled the Nazis with fake invasion plans. But the real heroes were a group of foreign double agents, turned by MI5 to misinform the German army.
This true story of people who double-crossed their bosses for reasons of bravery and greed is a compelling tale of our national history.
RICHARD SAYS: ‘If you enjoyed Ben Macintyre’s previous bestseller, Operation Mincemeat, then Double Cross is right up your alley. It deals with a bizarre, almost fantastical Allied undercover operation to pull the wool over the Nazis’ eyes. Every piece of information the double agents sent back to Berlin was exactly what the Allies wanted the Nazis to believe.
It was obvious to both sides that there were only two possible landing areas for the Allies in France – the Pas de Calais, the closest part of the Continent to England, or the beaches of Normandy, a much trickier and longer sea crossing. For British intelligence, it was game on.’
JUDY SAYS: ‘I was both captivated and taken aback by this book – captivated by the eccentricities of the team of foreign double agents so carefully assembled by British spymasters, and taken aback by their courage and determination in the face of a dangerous enemy. Macintyre is clearly fond of them and we take them to our hearts as well.
They were far from perfect – most were on the make and could be infuriating – but they were the heart of the most crucial intelligence operation of the war. If it were a novel, you’d dismiss it as wildly improbable.’
OUR READER SAYS: ‘I don’t normally get enthusiastic about non-fiction, but I couldn’t put this book down. I hadn’t realised the extent that double agents were used in the lead up to D-Day, or how close to disaster the project came. They were a disparate group, some of them unlikely spies, but this just made their story more interesting.
There’s plenty of suspense and as I read more, I found I started to question what was on the news. But maybe I’m just getting cynical!’
Christine Constable, 52, Cornwall
HAVE YOUR SAY! Read this book? Join in with the Richard and Judy Book Club online or if you’ve read the book, why not post your review below? Happy reading!
If you like this, try these…
Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre (£7.99, Bloomsbury)
Another fascinating true story of WW2 espionage – this time the plot to mislead Germany about the invasion of Sicily.
Enigma by Robert Harris (£7.99, Random House)
A really pacy thriller about the code breakers of Bletchley Park.
Pantheon by Sam Bourne (£7.99, HarperCollins)
When James Zennor goes to America in search of his missing wife, he becomes embroiled in dark wartime secrets.