Agent Sonya (Paperback)Ben Macintyre (author)
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From the bestselling author of The Spy and the Traitor comes the gripping true story of the most remarkable female spy in history – a dedicated communist who lived under the cover of a respectable Oxfordshire housewife.
Shortlisted for the ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction 2021.
The incredible story of the greatest female spy in history, from one of Britain's most acclaimed historians - available for pre-order now
In the quiet Cotswolds village of Great Rollright in 1944, a thin, and unusually elegant, housewife emerged from her cottage to go on her usual bike ride. A devoted mother-of-three, attentive wife and friendly neighbour, Sonya Burton seemed to epitomise rural British domesticity.
However, rather than pedalling towards the shops with her ration book, Sonya was heading for the Oxfordshire countryside to gather scientific secrets from a nuclear physicist. Secrets that would enable the Soviet Union to build the atomic bomb.
Far from an obedient homemaker, Sonya Burton was a dedicated communist, a decorated colonel and a veteran spy who risked her life to keep the Soviet Union in the nuclear arms race. Her husband was also a Soviet agent and her children had three different fathers from lovers she'd encountered throughout her incredible career.
In Agent Sonya, Ben Macintyre reveals the astonishing story behind the most important woman spy in history and the huge emotional cost that came with being a mother, a wife, and a secret agent at once.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 300 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 25 mm
'Thrilling...Macintyre will have you hooked to her life's every twist and turn' - Lucy Knight, The Times/The Sunday Times Books of the Year
'Macintyre does true-life espionage better than anyone else. He has a remarkable ability to construct a narrative that is as taut and urgent as it is carefully nuanced.' - John Preston, Evening Standard
'Macintyre has found a real-life heroine worthy of his gifts as John le Carre's nonfiction counterpart' - The New York Times
'This book is classic Ben Macintyre...quirky human details enliven every page... it is Macintyre's own vivid retelling of her perilous professional, personal and political life that make Agent Sonya such an accessible spy story.' - The Spectator
'He has the unerring gift of uncovering those astonishing truths that make even the best novelists of espionage seem both earthbound and artificial in comparison' - The Daily Telegraph
'His best book yet' - The Times
'Another year, another blockbuster real-life spy tome... Think John le Carre at his early best - but fact not fiction' - The Daily Express
'He...spins gloriously through one of the most extraordinary private lives of the 20th century' - The Daily Mail
'In Agent Sonya, Macintyre has pulled off his most remarkable trick: he leaves us admiring, and even cheering for, the woman at the heart of his story, someone who not only wanted to destroy our democracy but helped Russia get a nuclear bomb. She is the strongest character of all in Macintyre's bestselling series of wartime tales... I raced through the pages to keep up with the plot' - Evening Standard
'This impeccably researched account of her double life spans continents and is brilliantly compelling' - The Sunday Mirror
'Macintyre's page-turner is a dazzling portrait of a flawed yet driven individual who risked everything (including her children) for the cause' - The Sunday Times
'The best true spy story I have ever read' - John le Carre on The Spy and the Traitor
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“Agent Sonya by Ben McIntyre”
Highly recommend this excellent read, Ben MacIntyre's thoroughly engaging true-to-life story of a remarkable woman, lover, mother and spy. The notes, sources and bibliography are testament to the research which... More
“A True Story”
The captivating story of the secret agent who travelled the world with kids in tow, fooled MI5 and passed atomic secrets to the USSR
Absolutely fantastic gave a full insight into how Soviet spy’s operated.
It is well written and once you start it you can’t put it down
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