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Andrew Williams: Was Peter Wright a wrecker or saviour for Britain’s Security Service?

Posted on: 13/09/2019 with tags: Cambridge Five, Witchfinder, 20th Century, Cold War

In my first days at the BBC, more than thirty years ago, the struggle between Her Majesty’s Government and a frail pensioner down under was at the top of the running order nearly every night. Poor old Peter Wright limping to an Australian court on a stick, the last of his white hair just visible beneath a bush hat. He was an elderly David challenging an army of lawyers. Always a genial smile for the cameras as if he was relishing a contest that was viewed in many places around the world as one o…

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Do you what it takes to be a spy?

Posted on: 13/12/2018 with tags: Puzzles, secret service, Sinclair McKay, 20th Century

It’s time to pit your wits against the secret heroes of MI5 and MI6 and find out if YOU have what it takes to be a spy! Whether you have linguistic flair, an instinct for technology or good old common sense, pit your wits against some of the greatest minds of our time with ingenious brainteasers including secret languages, sabotage themed brain bogglers, deadly countdowns and hidden codes. Weaving astonishing stories of the men and women who operate from the shadows, the secret heroes and heroin…

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H.B. Lyle: Fiction to fact to fiction – finding nuggets in the archive

Posted on: 21/08/2018 with tags: author blog, crime fiction, espionage, historical crime, historical fiction, Sherlock Holmes, 20th Century, British History, English History, European

It’s perhaps the most dreaded question in the author Q&A: where do you get your ideas from? Setting aside Arthur Miller’s famous response (‘I wish I knew, I’d go there more often’) this is perhaps an easier question for the historical novelist to answer than those working in other genres. For inspiration, we only have to look into the history books. And this is so often the way of things – authors find out versions of what happened then transmute and change and reimagine then in the form of…

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