Double Cross

  • by Ben Macintyre
  • Narrated by Michael Tudor Barnes
  • 13 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

D-Day, 6 June 1944 was a victory of arms. But it was also a triumph for a different kind of operation: one of deceit, aimed at convincing the Nazis that Calais and Norway, not Normandy, were the targets of the invasion force. The deception involved every branch of Allied wartime intelligence. But at its heart was the "Double Cross System", a team of double agents controlled by the secret Twenty Committee. The key D-Day spies were just five in number, and one of the oddest military units ever assembled: a Peruvian playgirl, a Polish fighter pilot, a Serbian seducer, a wildly imaginative Spaniard, and a hysterical Frenchwoman. Their enterprise was saved from catastrophe by a shadowy sixth spy.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Doesn't 'Quite' meet heights of his previous books

Don't get me wrong, this is still a very good book, and the narrator does an excellent job. I think the problem is that Ben Macintyre has written a book that has cast too wide a net to be fully conveyed as an audio book. There's so many parallel threads going on that I sometimes found myself trying to remember exactly which Agent was which. In a physical book, that's not a problem, as you can always flick back to double-check things for clarity. That's not an option in an audio book....

His previous two books had the benefit of either one central agent or one core operation to focus on. Here, there's a lot of different threads and different plots to try to keep track of.

Bottom line it's still a good listen, but I suggest starting with either Agent ZigZag or Operation Mincemeat first, to "ease" yourself in!
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- Charles

Great but too many doubles?.....

I really enjoyed McIntyre's first two books and although the information in them had appeared elsewhere he delivers the details in such a detailed and personable way that the book reads like a weird blend of a thriller combined with a news bulletin.

In the latest book he sketches the most complex and daring orchestration of wartime deception - all based on fact, newly released by MI5. Although the plot is rich and unbelievably complex, and although the daring of the spies is far greater than before, the book never reaches the intensity of its two predecessors. This could be that there is less focus on one small cast of characters and the canvas is bigger, more complex with less opportunity to understand the lives and motives of the main characters. At times the cast of characters is unwieldy because of the number of characters and the complexity of the charade they were developing.

As always one is looking forward to the epilogue to explain how the people ended up. The work they did was amazing and it affected the outcome of the war and therefore the course of world history. Ben M has written well, again, but with fewer main and subsidiary characters the book may have risen to the levels of its predecessors. Narration is brilliant with flawless accents applied consistently.
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- steven

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-08-2012
  • Publisher: Soundings