Agent Zigzag by Ben Macintyre

About the book

Eddie Chapman was a charming criminal, a con man, and a philanderer. He was also one of the most remarkable double agents Britain has ever produced. Inside the traitor was a man of loyalty; inside the villain was a hero. The problem for Chapman, his spymasters, and his lovers was to know where one persona ended and the other began.
In 1941, after training as a German spy in occupied France, Chapman was parachuted into Britain with a revolver, a wireless, and a cyanide pill, with orders from the Abwehr to blow up an airplane factory. Instead, he contacted MI5, the British Secret Service. For the next four years, Chapman worked as a double agent, a lone British spy at the heart of the German Secret Service who at one time volunteered to assassinate Hitler for his countrymen. Crisscrossing Europe under different names, all the while weaving plans, spreading disinformation, and, miraculously, keeping his stories straight under intense interrogation, he even managed to gain some profit and seduce beautiful women along the way.
The Nazis feted Chapman as a hero and awarded him the Iron Cross. In Britain, he was pardoned for his crimes, becoming the only wartime agent to be thus rewarded. Both countries provided for the mother of his child and his mistress. Sixty years after the end of the war, and ten years after Chapman’s death, MI5 has now declassified all of Chapman’s files, releasing more than 1,800 pages of top secret material and allowing the full story of Agent Zigzag to be told for the first time.

Reviewed by C C Readers:

Well-written, gripping story about a brave but unpleasant individual. Everyone enjoyed this straightfoward account.

Star rating : ***

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2 thoughts on “Agent Zigzag by Ben Macintyre”

  1. Review by Stubbington Bookends:
    An unexpected pleasure to read, giving a fascinating insight into the war with interesting and often humourous characters.
    Star rating : ***/****

  2. Review by Ems Valley U3A
    Very mixed views. Either people really enjoyed it and found it extremely interesting or couldn’t even finish it because they didn’t like the “hero” and the style of writing. It gave fascinating insight into the working of MI5 and the German espionage system.
    Star rating: **

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