Hunt For A Double Spy by John Harte
No one seemed to know why so many conflicts suddenly erupted and reached a point of no return, since most people in Britain had only just enjoyed their highest living standards ever.
Tensions stretched into fury in London, setting almost everyone at each other’s throats. Terrorism added to the chaos. Some expected an explosion of civil war. Britain’s Secret Service struggled to restore order. It was at that critical moment when a young and romantic adventurer applied to join them as a confidential agent.
This novel is about how he became the most audacious and successful spy in history, where he came from, and how he helped to turn Britain’s secret intelligence services into MI5 and MI6 – the most effective secret services in the world. It is also about what happened to him after he suddenly vanished from the sight of Western eyes.
This is a romantic story of how a nation lost its freedom and its country to the tyranny of two professional revolutionaries, and attempts by Britain’s Secret Service to restore it to the Russian people by a counter-revolution led by their most heroic and audacious secret agent.
5 Star Review: Author John Harte’s Hunt for A Double Spy Novel is in good company since Author John Le Carre’s long-awaited new spy novel is coming out in October. For all you spy novel enthusiasts, Hunt for A Double Spy is a fascinating read.
Author John Harte (born in London England) drew from his own successful undercover work as an investigative journalist. He used his accumulative knowledge, skills, and associations with the “shadowy world of espionage” along with impeccable research to give us the Hunt for A Double Spy Novel.
Back in the days of Churchill, as Britain’s Secret Service paid confidential spy, Sidney Reilly was tasked to find out who was behind the attempts to “subvert and undermine” British power at home and overseas.
Sidney was a master spy. He was intelligent, well educated, courageous and confident conversationalist with gentlemanly behaviors that enabled him to rub shoulders with the aristocrats and even correspond personally with Winston Churchill.
The story brings the reader to a pivotal point in history that had a far-reaching effect throughout the world. It is an extremely well written, engaging page turner. Finding something to share from the story was a task, because there is so much information. I share this with you, in hopes that you will read it for yourself.
I quote: from chapter 34 “Commander Boyce’s Story: Reilly had been impressed by all that he had now seen and heard about the revolutionary organization known as “The Trust.” He felt that much would depend on their cooperation to raise a counterrevolution that he intended to lead now that Savinkov was dead. What he did not know was the names and the status of its leaders, and whether or not it had already been infiltrated by Dzerzhinsky’s agents. What he did know was that the SIS had their own doubts about the organization. And it was clear that Boyce was keen to learn more about it from Reilly’s infiltration in Moscow and Petrograd. Boyce was generally available to confirm or deny Reilly’s own suspicions. Boyce led his own team of agents at Reval, and watched the daily activities of the communists for the SIS.”
I will leave it up to you to follow Sidney Reilly’s adventure as one of the world’s “most heroic and audacious secret agents”. The author originally wrote this story as a narrative nonfiction book with 359 sources in his end notes. He finally decided that most people get their knowledge of history from novels and the cinema, so rewrote it to make it more accessible and engaging for general readers. Since it is thoroughly researched and 99 percent true, it is technically a “nonfiction novel,” which is the way that Truman Capote described his In Cold Blood.
I endorse Hunt For A Double Spy by Author John Harte. He has also written The Churchill Man Of Destiny Series which you can find at Amazon. Review by Theodocia McLean.
Paperback: 372 Pages
May 23, 2019
Genre: Nonfiction (Espionage Novels)
About The Author: John Harte has led a varied and busy life in a number of different careers and countries, as a child prodigy who consumed over two thousand books in his father’s library from the age of eight, including English, French, and Russian classics. He was an artist attending weekly life classes at Kingston-on-Thames Art school at the age of thirteen, during his final year at St. Paul’s School in England. The aim of his art master was to compile a portfolio of his line drawings for a scholarship to the Slade School of Fine Art in Oxford. Those plans were unexpectedly challenged by the imminence of World War 2 and an expected invasion by German troops who had already overrun Europe.
He accepted his first job offer to design and paint scenery for the theatre. It introduced him also to acting, at which he had been successful in school. After an audition at the Henley Playhouse, he was appointed as their leading man at the age of fourteen. He was hired by H. M. Tennant, soon after, to understudy John Gielgud in Love for Love at London’s Haymarket Theatre when he was only fifteen.
Harte subsequently played some two hundred leading roles all over Britain, several at the Moss and Stoll theatre circuit with seating capacities of 3,000, and in provincial weekly repertory companies, with special weeks in and around London’s smaller try-out theatres.
Four of his own plays were produced, including a dramatization of a P. G. Wodehouse comic short story which he called Don’t Lose Your Head, and his dramatization of D, H. Lawrence’s most controversial novel. He chose to call it Lady Chatterley, because it was about a woman who wanted to take charge of her mind and body in a society dominated by men. His was the only “official version” championed by the feminist Frieda Lawrence, and performed to packed houses for a run at the Arts Theatre in 1961. It was only prevented from being transferred to Wyndham’s Theatre, as planned and licensed by the Lord Chamberlain’s office, by the famous trial against Penguin Books for publishing an unexpurgated version of the novel. The failure of the prosecution at the Central Criminal Court, known as the Old Bailey, changed Britain’s more formal and polite society into the so-called “permissive society.”
When theatres closed all over the British Isles with the establishment of television, Harte switched careers to business management, commencing as a management trainee in the paper industry in London. He soon became a company director. He made another successful career in the advertising industry overseas with J. Walter Thompson (WPI). And, by 1970, his varied skills and wealth of experience resulted in his appointment, first, as a director of the leading modern art gallery in Johannesburg, then as adviser to twenty-eight Presidents of companies acquired by the biggest textile conglomerate in South Africa. He became Managing Director of one of their upmarket companies in Durban. He was also Marketing Vice-President of GE when they were the leading global brand. About a decade or more later, after settling in Canada, he was elected Director General of the Canadian Institute of Marketing. Having now retired from a business career, he writes books on subjects he found challenging to master in his rich and varied career.
Hunt for A Double Spy is a glance back to a moment in postwar Britain when, as an undercover investigative journalist, he discovered a clandestine plot by Sir Oswald Mosley’s Fascist Party to take over Britain, and brought it to the attention of Parliament and the newspapers, which ended Mosley’s political career. He found spies almost everywhere since then – or they found him. Now he prefers to write about them in seclusion in the quiet government city of Ottawa in Canada, close to the border with New York.
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