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The Honest Spy

Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
Length: 12 hrs and 12 mins
4 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Summary

During one of history's darkest chapters, one man is determined to make a difference.

In the tradition of Schindler's List comes a thrilling novel based on the heroic true story of Fritz Kolbe, a widowed civil servant in Adolf Hitler's foreign ministry. Recognizing that millions of lives are at stake, Kolbe uses his position to pass information to the Americans - risking himself and the people he holds most dear - and embarks on a dangerous double life as the Allies' most important spy.

Summoned from his South African post to return to Nazi Germany, Kolbe leaves behind his beloved fourteen-year-old daughter, a decision made for her safety that nonetheless torments him. And as he lives under the constant threat of arrest, he wrestles with the guilt of putting Marlene Wiese, a married nurse and the love of his life, in danger as they collaborate on Kolbe's clandestine work.

But no matter the personal cost, Kolbe will not be deterred. In scenes that pulse with suspense, he emerges as a towering figure who risked everything to save innocent lives - and Germany from itself.

©2015 Andreas Kollender (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. Translation © 2017 Steve Anderson

What members say

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

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Story so unreal

The story is so unlikely that I could not finish the book.
It portrays the Germans as totally unaware of what was going on so obviously right in front of them. A spy so stupid and could not keep a secret to save his life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nike
  • Devon
  • 23-11-17

Very interesting story

Makes a change from the usual le Care. But intriguing construct of how an insider diplomat could have helped the war effort. Quite exciting throughout. Thanks.

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  • Wayne
  • 18-01-18

Beautifully written and narrated WWII story of...

...spy Fritz Kolbe (AKA George Wood). Kolbe was an employee of the Germany Foreign Office in Berlin who was the most important spy for the allies in WWII. The story is fictionalized to a relatively small degree and it is dramatized with detail that is uncertain.

68 of 77 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • lovetoread
  • 17-12-17

Interesting fictionalization

Spy stories are fascinating because they reflect how brave and useful a spy can be. Fritz Kolbe's story as a WWII spy for the Allies can never be fully verified because of the inherent nature of secrecy needed to become a successful spy. The book shows the more human side of Kolbe with the inclusion of Kolbes love for his daughter and paramour. Well written and encourages further reading about other unsung WWII heroes.

66 of 76 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael D. Pilkington
  • 14-05-18

To much Marlena

I wanted a book about the spying. A little love story in the mix is not bad but this is a love story about a spy.

59 of 71 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Stewart
  • 13-01-18

Not worth it

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I've now done some reading about the real Fritz Kolbe and his story is fascinating. Somehow Kollender gets mired in the telling and it became very tedious listening. I'm an avid audio book listener and for one of the very few times in years I did not finish novel.

Would you ever listen to anything by Andreas Kollender and Steve Anderson - translator again?

No.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

He was fine. The problem is in the story/writing.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Story is based on a very interesting man about whom I had no idea.

57 of 69 people found this review helpful

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  • Churchill
  • 30-11-17

Dull first book I did not listen until end

Maybe the translation is the problem but whatever it is you just don't care about his honest spy who leaves his daughter to return to Nazi Germany and work for the Reich. Eventually he steals confidential papers and provides to Allies but at that point the whole narrative was snooze fest. Returning this one

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael Maxwell
  • 08-11-17

Wow, what a read.<br />

My goodness. I have not been this captivated by a story in a very long time. More... More... Give me more .

29 of 37 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Angela Cartagena
  • 26-11-18

Great book!.... Full of suspense and romance

I loved the blend of history, suspense, and romance that made up this book. I would definitely recommend it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jill W.
  • 15-12-17

Great book

Well written. An amazing story. I highly recommend this book.
You feel like you are a part of history reading it

20 of 27 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Katherine
  • 27-12-17

Very compelling

I was drawn right into this in a way that doesn't always happen, but is always enjoyable. It looks like some of the events of his life were streamlined or left out, which is inevitable, but it made it a very good story, so it was worth it. You live with the characters and have a very vivid sense of what it was like to be in Berlin during the war. I see there is a more comprehensive biography of his life, A Spy at the Heart of the Third Reich, but this one stands alone as a non-fiction book with the intensity of a good spy novel.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Shawn H.
  • 15-03-18

This book is amazingly fantastic

This book put me on edge from the first time i read the description to the last words before you hear the "audible hopes you enjoyed your program" line.

Based on true events, I looked him and his history up online after the book and his family is very different from the book, but the war and what he did in it seemed to be very accurate.

I was mesmerized by the story, the narrator did a wonderful job and I wished the book kept going on and on.

14 of 20 people found this review helpful