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 on the pavement of a busy avenue in the heart of Moscow, holding a plastic carrier bag. In his grey suit and tie, he looked like any other Soviet citizen. The bag alone was mildly conspicuous, printed with the red logo of Safeway, the British supermarket.
The man was a spy. 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 a signal: to activate his escape plan to be smuggled out of Soviet Russia. So began one of the boldest and most extraordinary episodes in the history of spying. Ben Macintyre reveals a tale of espionage, betrayal and raw courage that changed the course of the Cold War forever...
'The best true spy story I have ever read.'
John le Carre
'[A] captivating espionage tale. In a feat of real authorial dexterity, Macintyre accurately portrays the long-game banality of spycraft-the lead time and persistence in planning-with such clarity and propulsive verve that the book often feels like a thriller. Macintyre has produced a timely and insightful page-turner.'