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Publisher's Summary

The incredible story of the greatest female spy in history, from one of Britain's most acclaimed historians.

In the quiet Cotswolds village of Great Rollright in 1944, a thin and unusually elegant housewife emerged from her cottage to go on her usual bike ride. A devoted mother of three, attentive wife and friendly neighbour, Sonya Burton seemed to epitomise rural British domesticity.

However, rather than pedalling towards the shops with her ration book, Sonya was heading for the Oxfordshire countryside to gather scientific secrets from a nuclear physicist. Secrets that would enable the Soviet Union to build the atomic bomb.

Far from an obedient homemaker, Sonya Burton was a dedicated communist, a decorated colonel and a veteran spy who risked her life to keep the Soviet Union in the nuclear arms race. Her husband was also a Soviet agent, and her children had three different fathers from lovers she'd encountered throughout her incredible career.

In Agent Sonya, Ben Macintyre reveals the astonishing story behind the most important woman spy in history and the huge emotional cost that came with being a mother, a wife and a secret agent at once.

©2020 Ben MacIntyre (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Agent Sonya

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Good story.

Great story. Well read. Hard to view Sonya with the same degree of sympathy as portrayed by the author. I found it a bit difficult to believe that she didn't know what was going on during the Stalinist purges etc. Spies seem to be very driven and pathological individuals who are, dare I say it, ultimately quite flawed and often hard to like. Great con artists obviously. Do read, I thoroughly recommend.

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Incredible

Incredible story and even more incredible to know it is all true. A must read/ listen

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Amazing work of non fiction that you’d swear was fiction

Incredible story of real life 20th century espionage, we’ll read. A compelling listen, thoroughly recommended!

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Absolutely fascinating

One gets the strong impression that Macintyre is very sympathetic towards Sonya and her motives despite her treachery. True Marxism is another form of blind religious fanaticism. Despite all that happened to Sonya and her friends and family at the hands of Stalin and the CCP she remained loyal to her ideals despite the harsh reality of her communist superiors. Any form of fanaticism is myopic , delusional and dangerous. MI5 and MI6 have a lot to answer for. Highly recommended. I can’t wait for another true spy thriller book from Macintyre!

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  • Jayceon1888
  • 17-09-2020

Another Great Story

I’ve been waiting on this audiobook to be released and was not disappointed. If you like any of Ben McIntyre’s other books then this is another great story told in the same way as his others. A lot of research has went into it and just like others from Ben it’s takes you back in time and you feel like you’re there watching this unfold. Another 5 star book

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  • kevin
  • 03-10-2020

hmmmm

Have loved all of Ben Macintyre's books and they never fail to entertain and they are never boring. But.....I am obviously the odd one out as I found this listen quite hard going. Just couldn't warm to the main protaganist and couldn't have cared what happened to her. Hey ho I am obviously in the minority.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tracy Callaway
  • 16-11-2020

A great listen, excellent narration by Ben Macintyre

Brilliant, a fascinating story of an incredible spies history. Enjoyed every chapter of Agent Sonya.

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  • Ash
  • 15-11-2020

Loved this.

Non stop exciting and a clear insight into a full life in espionage. Well done - loved.

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  • Christina
  • 07-11-2020

Brilliant book

I so enjoyed this book. Most interesting account of 20th century espionage, very well written and read by Ben Macintyre. I would thoroughly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-10-2020

An extraordinary story

An extraordinary story. Very well written and read. Completely absorbing, all the more so because it is a story based on facts that sometimes read like fiction.

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  • AJP
  • 19-10-2020

Superb

Another brilliant book from Ben Macintyre. A fascinating story of a remarkable spy and some incompetent British spy catching! The book is excellently narrated by the author and I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone interested in spies and history.

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  • Mr B.
  • 18-10-2020

Agent Snore a

A fascinating story but, like the criticism of Agent Sonya’s wordy brother, this book could do with being cut down a bit - it’s too long.

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  • S. Simpson
  • 16-10-2020

Convincingly authentic and great read

Accurately gets under the skin of a real anti-fascist intelligence drama, danger, commitment and family over 20 years.

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  • Jess
  • 15-10-2020

Ben Macintyre should always narrate

Ben has a fantastic voice and delivery. Far preferable to many of the more actorish voices used on some other books. Plus this story is an absolute treasure trove of information and astonishing twists and turns. I loved it.

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