This book tells the incredible true story of Eric Roberts, a seemingly inconsequential bank clerk who, in the guise of 'Jack King,' helped uncover and neutralize the invisible threat of fascism on British shores.
Roberts didn’t turn up a fifth column with ties to Hitler’s regime, but what he did find was shocking. With a modicum of effort, he found apparently ordinary British citizens who, beneath the surface, were seething with hostility toward their countrymen and were eager to aid the Germans if given the chance. In Agent Jack, Roberts’s story and theirs is told in full for the first time by Robert Hutton, who brings to the task an appealing mix of accessibility and research rigor ... Mr. Hutton makes adroit use of archival sources, including government files made public as recently as 2014, and he fashions a compelling tale. A shortcoming of his account is that his nonlinear approach to setting out the story, combined with his tendency to be stingy with dates, makes the narrative tricky to follow at times. Still, he has illuminated a fascinating and often appalling side of the war at home.
Robert Hutton’s deeply researched, often astounding book...includes transcripts of eavesdropped conversations with [Nazi] fanatics that would make your hair stand on end ... This is the wonder—and the horror—of the story Hutton tells. That there were all sorts of inconspicuous but resourceful British natives plotting to bring down Churchill’s government is frightening enough; that they might have succeeded in communicating vital secrets to Berlin hardly bears thinking about. You marvel at their being taken in by 'Jack King' ... Agent Jack has paid him a belated and honorable due.
... [an] excellent book ... by the end of this well-researched and highly readable book readers will appreciate how very fortunate Britain was to have such brave and resourceful men and women working in the shadows to protect her at her moment of maximum peril.