Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £19.99

Buy Now for £19.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

The Portland Spy Ring was one of the most infamous espionage cases from the Cold War. People the world over were shocked when its exposure revealed the shadowy world of deep cover KGB 'illegals' - spies operating under false identities stolen from the dead.

The CIA's revelation to MI5 in 1960 that a KGB agent was stealing crucial secrets from the world-leading submarine research base at Portland in Dorset looked initially like a dangerous but contained lapse of security by a British man and his mistress. But the couple was tailed by MI5 'watchers' to a covert meeting with a Canadian businessman, Gordon Lonsdale. The unsuspecting Lonsdale in turn led MI5's spy-catchers to an innocent-looking couple in suburban Ruislip called the Krogers.

But within weeks the CIA rang the alarm - their critical source of intelligence was to defect within hours - and MI5 was forced to act immediately. The Krogers were exposed as two of the most important Russian 'illegals' ever, whom the Americans had been hunting for years. And Lonsdale was no Canadian, but a senior KGB controller.

This astonishing but true story of MI5's spy hunt is straight from the world of John le Carré and is told here for the first time using hitherto secret MI5 and FBI files, private family archives and original interviews. Its tentacles stretch around the world - from America, to the USSR, Canada, New Zealand, Europe and the UK. Dead Doubles is a gripping episode of Cold War history and a case that fully justified the West's paranoia about infiltration and treachery.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 Trevor Barnes (P)2020 Orion Publishing Group

What listeners say about Dead Doubles

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    21
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    19
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    19
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Plodding, but DETAILED, and tediously PC

I persisted with it, but it's pretty pedestrian stuff to be honest . The authors tut-tutting about 1950s and 1960s 'sexism' is frankly tedious, I mean really what could one expect?
None of the characters, with perhaps the marginal exception of Lonsdale (Konan Molody) are in the slightest bit attractive. Houghton and Gee were so banal as to be boring. The "Krogers" (alias the Cohens) were clearly swivel eyed ideologues. The author failed to exploit the opportunity to explore the war records of Maurice Cohen and Molody, particularly the role of Cohen in the Spanish Civil War, it might have been more interesting than the narrative we got.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Storey of Real Spying

I really enjoyed this well researched story of real spies. It’s rich in character and detailed in events, but not ponderous. Written in a pacy style, it manages to read like a thriller at times. The narrative of events is supported by an occasional and useful social and political commentary which helps the younger reader understand the significant cultural and value differences of that generation. Highly recommend.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Annoying Narration

The story is a fascinating one but isn't written with a historical balance. It's very much West is Good Soviet Bad mentality.

The narrator makes appalling attempts at accents which all seem to be something from a Jimmy Cagney gangster film. The normal narration is read in what can be best described as sounding like a Celia Imrey character (Miss Bab's maybe).Although off putting I stayed with it to the end.