#BookBeginnings The Spy and The Traitor by Ben Macintyre

Today I’m reading a true spy story recommended by a friend, The Spy and The Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!



The Spy and The Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  This is a nonfiction biography of Russian spy Oleg Gordievsky, who secretly worked for Britain’s MI6 during the cold war years. Britain hid him from the CIA, but the Americans wanted to have a piece of the pie. CIA officials assigned Head of Counterintelligence Aldrich Amos to find out the Russian’s identity.  In a spy thriller-worthy twist, Aldrich was secretly spying for the Russians. Which spy will win?

First Sentence:

For the KGB’s counterintelligence section, Directorate K, this was a routine bugging job.


This has been very exciting to read so far. The first paragraph reveals the spies sprinkled radioactive dust in their targets’ clothing and shoes, so they could track them with a Geiger counter. A few paragraphs later we learn the spies made a small, but critical error which let their primary target know they had breached his home. Still, his life is in extreme peril.


What do you think? Have you read The Spy and The Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre? Is it something you’d like to read?


by Ben Macintyre


  1. Laurel-Rain Snow

    You have definitely piqued my curiosity. Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

  2. Anne@Headfullofbooks

    This book sounds pretty relevant according to what is happening in our government with Russia interference. My book was Where the Crawdads Sing

    • Roberta

      It is surprisingly illuminating, considering it reads like a spy thriller.

  3. Catherine @ Book Club Librarian

    Can’t help but think of Russia’s current activities as I read your excerpts.

  4. Ashley S.

    Oh wow! This sounds like a fascinating read. I’m definitely intrigued! Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great weekend! 🙂

  5. Bev Bouwer

    Sounds really good, thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog.

  6. Literary Feline

    This sounds intriguing. I would definitely be interested in checking this one out. I love real life spy stories. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I hope you have a great week!

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