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Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal Hardcover – September 4, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 2,108 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

London Times associate editor Macintyre (The Man Who Would Be King) adroitly dissects the enigmatic World War II British double agent Eddie Chapman in this intriguing and balanced biography. Giving little thought to the morality of his decision, Chapman offered to work as a spy for the Germans in 1940 after his release from an English prison in the Channel Islands, then occupied by the Germans. After undergoing German military intelligence training, Chapman parachuted into England in December 1942 with instructions to sabotage a De Havilland aircraft factory, but he surrendered after landing safely. Doubled by MI5 (the security service responsible for counterespionage), Chapman was used to feed vital disinformation to the enemy and was one of the few double agents to delude their German handlers until the end of the war. Meticulously researched—relying extensively on recently released wartime files of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service—Macintyre's biography often reads like a spy thriller. In the end, the author concludes that Chapman repeatedly risked his life... [and] provided invaluable intelligence, but it was never clear whether he was on the side of the angels or the devils. Of the two Zigzag biographies this fall (the other, by Nicholas Booth, is reviewed below), this is clearly superior. (Oct. 9)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Past writers have attempted to recount this fascinating bit of history, but lack of information and official censorship have kept the full story from being told. Thanks to Britain’s Freedom of Information Act, Eddie Chapman’s voluminous MI5 files are now available to the public, and Ben Macintyre has made full use of them in this riveting tale. Critics unanimously praised Macintyre’s talents: his fluid writing style, his ability to build suspense, and his biting humor. Vivid descriptions, deft characterizations, and exhilarating action scenes (as well as secret codes, invisible ink, explosives disguised as household objects, parachute drops, cyanide capsules, and beautiful women) put Agent Zigzag on a par with any great spy novel or thriller.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Crown (September 4, 2007)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0307353400
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0307353405
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.5 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.36 x 1.33 x 9.36 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,108 ratings

About the author

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Ben Macintyre is a writer-at-large for The Times of London and the bestselling author of A Spy Among Friends, Double Cross, Operation Mincemeat, Agent Zigzag, and Rogue Heroes, among other books. Macintyre has also written and presented BBC documentaries of his work.

(Photo Credit: Justine Stoddart)

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
2,108 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 19, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on January 27, 2016
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27 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on October 6, 2015
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Top reviews from other countries

Matthew H
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 4, 2017
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27 people found this helpful
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E Griffith
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting.....but....
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 31, 2021
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Corby
5.0 out of 5 stars The real 007...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 24, 2021
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Vicuña
5.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a thriller. Fast paced and filled with compelling characters
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 5, 2017
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GeordieReader
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating account of espionage in World War 2
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 27, 2016
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2 people found this helpful
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