When a dead man becomes a highly effective spy, fools the enemy and helps win a war with the world in the balance, well, that sounds like something James Bond writer Ian Fleming would concoct. Oh wait, he did.
To be specific (and more correct), Operation Mincemeat, a plan devised by Britain's intelligence agency MI5 to convince Germany that a southern attack on Europe via the Mediterranean by Allied forces, was signed off on by Fleming, one of many in Britain's spy ring.
Though Fleming may not have been top dog, he was what drove me to this bizarre tale. Certainly, there was an interest in the story itself, but I also wanted to hear about those familiar names of history, literature and even the culinary arts (even tv chef Julia Child did her bit for secret service during WWII) that had a hand - underhandedly - in taking down the Axis powers. Ben Macintyre provides plenty of background information on these shadows. With the declassification of files, writer's like Macintyre are able to cast light on the actions of agents for both sides, and some of it is as exciting as any fiction you'll ever read!
Those of you into WWII spy craft may be familiar with Macintyre's other relatively popular work on the subject, Agent Zigzag
. As of the writing of this review, I haven't gotten around to reading that one yet, but if it's as competently and enticingly written as Operation Mincement
I'll be on it like a tail that can't be shaken.