A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal

Ben Macintyre, read by John Lee. Random House Audio, , unabridged, nine CDs, 11 hrs., $40 ISBN 978-0-553-39788-8
Macintyre’s latest biography chronicles the adventures of British intelligence officer Kim Philby, who secretly spied for the Soviet Union throughout most of his career. These events have inspired a host of fictional espionage thrillers, but Mac­intyre offers new context to address the forces that shaped Philby’s betrayal of his country. Veteran reader Lee effectively shifts between expository passages and dialogue. Philby’s career makes for an engrossing narrative, with accounts of double-crosses and triple-crosses, and Lee’s performance brings out the human element in the action-packed plot. His rendering of eccentric CIA counterintelligence leader James Jesus Angleton—an American with strong British ties and sensibilities—is especially memorable. Building to the climactic confrontation between Philby and his best friend and colleague, Nicholas Elliott, Lee’s delivery of the spy vs. spy banter evokes the essence of Cold War tension. A Crown hardcover. (July)
Reviewed on: 09/29/2014
Release date: 07/01/2014
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