Philipps fluent retelling of the life of Donald Maclean .... but it's thanks to the telling of the mother of Maclean’s three children, that the biography first grips and then lingers long in the mind ... a page turner.
Access All Areas, including dossiers on the atom bomb and the beginnings of the strategy of nuclear deterrence ... Philipps sets an example by being punchy and hard-nosed in his handling of facts, but pliant, imaginative and humane in his understanding of motives and emotions.
What makes a man or woman betray their country, friends and family is a subject that fascinates and appals. The quest for answers to this in the life of the Cambridge spy Donald Maclean keeps Roland Philipps’s A Spy Named Orphan fresh and thought-provoking throughout.
...a new biography by Roland Philipps...piecing together a spy’s tale, relying on previously classified files released by the British security service MI5 in 2015 ... Philipps does not make the life of his unhappy antihero seem fun.
A tale of the tangled web spun by a Briton who spied for the Soviet Union and ended his days in Moscow exile ... a solid if sometimes plodding account, of much interest to students of espionage and counterintelligence.
...a trove of recently declassified files to trace the arc of Russian spy Donald Maclean’s life. Even though Maclean remains a mysterious figure, this is likely to be considered the definitive biography.