Sunday, June 5, 2011

Agent Zigzag by Ben Macintyre

Book:  Agent Zigzag

Author:  Ben Macintyre

Grade:  B+ 

Recommended To:  Non-fiction fans who love a story that could be fiction.  

This book was outstanding.  If I didn't have to work so much, and if I wasn't so tired when I get home from work, then I would have finished this book a lot sooner, but alas, I have bills to pay and a job to perform. 

This book is about a British citizen, Eddie Chapman, who is a petty thief and criminal in Britain before WW2. He is finally arrested for a few of those crimes and is jailed on the Channel Islands when the Nazis invade and occupy the islands.  This is reminiscent of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society which was also about the occupation of the Channel Islands.  Anyway, Chapman uses his savvy to inform the Germans that he wants to become a spy for them.   Evidiently he does an excellent job of convincing the Nazis of his credibility because they expend enormous effort and money to train him as a spy, ship him into Britain and set up communications with Chapman there.

Things go awry for the Germans almost immediately and the book spirals into the world of Double Cross, the British plan to turn all German spies and feed false information to the Nazis.  This is an absolutely fascinating account of a real life spy who played a huge role in the War, but certainly isn't a character taught in an average history class. 

Macintyre had a big job when he took on this project because it seems that huge amounts of paperwork, including letters, reports, statements, documents survived the war.  There seemed to be very few gaps in the author's research which made this story even more compelling. 

I recommend this book to anyone looking for a incredible real life account of a spy who was able to fool the Germans, the English and come out far ahead after the war ended. 

Happy Reading!!

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