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A Game of Moles - Deceptions of an M16 Officer.

Anyone involved with one or other of the now not-so-Secret Societies will enjoy this autobiography which seems to be reasonably discreet with a number of names quietly suppressed. No doubt a number of his ex-colleagues may not be so pleased with the book but those of us in other organisations who knew the author will be glad to have renewed contact with this man who brought much laughter to us in Algeria and elsewhere where, for obvious reasons, we all worked on the 'need-to-know' basis.

Desmond's long friendship with Kim Philby is related with much warmth until the shock of Kim's journey to Moscow hit him with disbelief. Like many of us, Desmond thought that Kim could have been the super 'triple cross' of all time in that 'Glasnost' began to emerge soon after his arrival in Moscow. This is a view which, when floated with reasonable discretion in appropriate circles, has always been met with hoots of derision. However, it is a thought on which readers may well ponder -- not that it would ever be acknowledged as plausible or indeed true. It was good to read of the distaste with which the author regarded Guy Burgess but it was a surprise to see the Hollis and Guy Liddell speculations re-emerge. There is much about Peter Wright, Tommy Harris, Cyril Hills and also the running of 'Garbo' -- that celebrated double-agent who got a Military Cross from us and an Iron Cross from the Germans.

For the layman, this is a much better read than many novels. For the cognoscenti, no doubt there will be many acid recriminations for it is true that, unless one is actually involved in the events described, there is no means of telling how accurate they are. In the arcane world of intelligence it all depends on who likes/dislikes/trusts/mistrusts whom.

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Author:Lee, Peter
Publication:Contemporary Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Oct 1, 1994
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