Dead Doubles: The Extraordinary Worldwide Hunt for One of the Cold War’s Most Notorious Spy Rings
British Intelligence has uncovered a possible spy in their midst. A letter containing anti-Semitic imagery was sent to an employee at the Underwater Detection Establishment. The sender was soon under scrutiny: a clerk at UDE named Harry Houghton. Houghton was a drunken lout who was living beyond his means. A previous tip-off about his suspected treachery had been forwarded by his ex-wife, but was promptly ignored. This was coupled with intelligence being sent by a Polish spy code-named Sniper. Houghton was followed to a meeting with an unknown fellow named Gordon Lonsdale. The officers of MI5 were intrigued by Lonsdale, and he was soon being followed. The evidence was circumstantial at first, but soon a surreptitious entry of Lonsdale’s safe deposit box netted incriminating evidence to bring down a moderately sized spy ring. The rampant paranoia and danger inherent in the Cold War and protection of secrets led to the harsh sentences meted out to all parties involved. Yet, this would not be the end of the story, just the beginning.
Dead Doubles is an absorbing view of an investigation of a spy ring and the personalities embedded in the ring. The danger of the times is conveyed in a tangible way, where the reader is engrossed in the triumphs and pitfalls of the investigation. The author does an admirable job in his portrayal of the spies and their motives. A most enjoyable read!
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