In this compelling investigation, author Michael Smith explores the critical moment in a spy’s life: that split-second decision to embrace a double life; to cheat and hide and hurt; to risk disgrace – even death – without any guarantee of being rewarded or even recognised. Each chapter centres on a number of different spies, following the path they took that led, finally, to the point of no return.

Were they propelled by personal convictions? Blackmailed and left without a choice? Too desperate for money to think about the consequences?

Through in-depth insider knowledge, Michael Smith also uncovers new and unknown cases, including a spy inside ISIS, President Trump’s links with Russia and Edward Snowden’s role as a whistle-blower, to offer compelling psychological portraits of these men and women, homing unerringly on the fault-lines and shady corners of their characters, their weaknesses and their strengths, the lies they tell other people, and the lies they always end up telling themselves.

Learn about: Trump and Russia; The President’s ‘Sixteen Words’ and the Intelligence on Iraq; the Fifth Man in the Cambridge Spy Ring John Cairncross; FBI Special Agent Richard W. Miller; Indian spy Coomar Narain; Paul Fidrmuc; Mandel Goldfinger; Boris Bazhanov; Halina Szymanska and more.

Publishers: The History Press (UK) 2019  / Skyhorse Publishing (USA) 2020

A fascinating study of betrayal, the foibles and compulsions that motivated so many traitors to betray their countries and compromise classified information. Definitely an essential handbook for the layman as well as the molehunter and counter-intelligence professional.”

Nigel West, best-selling author of Operation Garbo; Snow: The Double Life of a World War II Spy and MI5 in the Great War.

 “There are very few ex-intelligence officers who know their stuff better than Michael Smith. If you’re want to know why spies put their lives in danger, this is the book for you.”

Andy McNab, best-selling author of Bravo Two Zero.

“A wide-ranging survey of the reasons why people spy that mixes the familiar with the less well-known, corrects numerous myths, and provides many new insights by a master intelligence expert.”

Andrew Lownie, author of Stalin’s Englishman

Buy now on Amazon.

About Michael

Michael Smith is an award-winning UK journalist and author. He served in British intelligence before becoming a writer, working as a reporter for the BBC, the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Times.

Smith is the author of numerous books on spies and special operations including the UK No 1 bestseller ‘Station X’, the US bestseller ‘Killer Elite’ and ‘Foley: The Spy Who Saved 10,000 Jews’, which led to the recognition of former MI6 officer Frank Foley as Righteous Among Nations, the highest award the Israeli State can award to a non-Jew.

Follow him here @MickJSmith