October 21, 2001 |
Robert Wilson lives in Portugal, where his previous taut thriller, "A Small Death in Lisbon," mostly unfolded and where his latest spy story, "The Company of Strangers," also takes Lisbon as its epicenter. And once again Wilson demonstrates, as Graham Greene did long ago, that thrillers are the liveliest, most gripping, most thought-provoking literary enterprises going today. The most readable too, when penned by a master spinner like Wilson.
September 10, 2000 |
There has long been a tradition at Oxford--it was certainly going strong in my day in the late '60s--in which certain tutors would discreetly suggest to select students that they "might care to have a word with a few fellows from the Foreign Office." Thus were Britain's future spooks recruited for the fabled MI6. Sebastian, a friend of mine tapped in this manner, was an obvious choice: brilliant, fluent in several languages, socially well-connected and, or rather but, flamboyantly gay.
June 17, 1996 |
Britain's foreign intelligence service stole top-secret breakthrough technology the French had developed for tracking nuclear submarines, a British newspaper reported Sunday. The Sunday Times said in a front-page report that details of France's anti-submarine program were obtained last year from a French civilian engineer duped by the MI6 spy organization.
July 12, 1992 |
As Britain's Queen Elizabeth arrived in Canada for a state visit recently, the Royal family was feeling unusually grateful to the KGB. The monarchy's troubles had been knocked off Fleet Street's front pages by the embarrassment of another section of the British upper class, the revelation that a new group of Soviet spies had been recruited among the dreaming spires of Oxford in the 1930s.
January 16, 1992 |
The pudgy, balding and bearded man looked like anybody's favorite uncle, but at one time he was one of the most hunted and hated people in the Western world. George Blake, double-agent extraordinaire and traitor to his country, but a man with all the dash of an affable bookworm, reluctantly came in from the cold Wednesday to a sometimes hostile reception--his first meeting with the Moscow press corps in a quarter-century.
August 30, 1991 |
A former Soviet double agent who defected six years ago said Thursday that the KGB has abandoned round-the-clock surveillance of his family in Moscow, raising his hopes for a reunion. "It may be just a first sign that they are rethinking their attitude," Oleg Gordievsky said. Gordievsky, 53, was KGB station chief in London when he began working for British intelligence in the early 1970s. He defected in 1985 when his superiors became suspicious.
July 22, 1991 |
Calls for an investigation of the collapsed, London-based Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) were issued Sunday after a newspaper reported that London branches serviced accounts of international terrorists. The Sunday Times of London reported that Arab terrorist Abu Nidal used London BCCI branches to finance his group's operations against Western targets. The BCCI also held accounts for Islamic Jihad, the paper said.
February 1, 1990
Frederick W. Winterbotham, 92, a group captain who played a key role in exploiting broken German codes in World War II and wrote the best-selling memoir "The Ultra Secret." Winterbotham was a pilot in World War I, and in 1929 was made head of aerial intelligence in MI-6, the British intelligence agency. In the 1930s, he managed to befriend senior Nazi figures in Germany and gleaned information about the Luftwaffe. In 1939, he helped devise a vital new method of aerial reconnaissance photography.
June 18, 1989 |
I have to apologize at the outset of this review. I sold my house the end of March; went on a cruise for the month of April and agreed to read and review this book during the month of May and, at the same time, pack and move out of my house. The result is that "The Russia House" has been digested between packing chores and maybe my viewpoint has suffered somewhat. John le Carre is a very popular best-selling author with a fine reputation in the intrigue and thriller field. Such books as "The Spy Who Came In Out of the Cold" and "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" enjoyed wide acclaim, as have most of his other novels.
February 3, 1989 |
William Stephenson, the spymaster dubbed "Intrepid" by Winston Churchill when he dispatched him to oversee an embryonic British intelligence effort in the United States in the dark days that preceded World War II, is dead. Reuters news agency reported Thursday that in keeping with the covert nature of the man and his career, Stephenson had asked to be buried secretly and his death not announced until after the service.