Which intelligence and espionage books are worth reading?  Whether you've already been on the tours (or you're about to), and want to learn more then take a look at the following. All books listed are personally recommended by 'Trail guide ‘Mr. X’ .


Do bear in mind, this list is neither exhaustive or definitive. It simply comprises the books read so far which are noteworthy. Rest assured: as more good titles are read and rated positively, they’ll appear here.



Gordon Thomas (2009) Inside British Intelligence: 100 Years of MI5 and MI6 (J.R. Books Ltd.)

Michael Smith (2004) The Spying Game (Politico’s)

Stephen Dorrill (1993) The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990′s (Mandarin)


Christopher Andrew (2010) The Defence of the Realm: The Authorised History of MI5 (Penguin)

Chapman Pincher (2009) Treachery: Betrayal, Blunders, and Cover-ups (Random House)

Nigel West (1987) Molehunt: The Full Story of the Soviet Spy in MI5 (Coronet)

Miranda Carter (2002) Anthony Blunt: His Lives (Pan Macmillan)

Stella Rimmington (2001) Open Secret: The Autobiography of the Former Director General of MI5 (Hutchinson)


Michael Smith (2010) Six: A History of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, Part I (Biteback Publishing Ltd.)

Keith Jeffrey (2010) MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949 (Bloomsbury)

Nigel West (2006) At Her Majesty’s Secret Service: The Chiefs of Britain’s Intelligence Agency, MI6 (Greenhill Books)

Alan Judd (2000) The Quest for ‘C’: Mansfield Cumming and the Founding of the Secret Service (Harper Press)



Christopher Andrew & Vasili Mitrokhin (2000) The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West (Penguin)

Nigel West & Oleg Tsarev (editors) (2009) Triplex: Secrets from the Cambridge Spies (Yale)

Oleg Kalugin (2009) Spymaster: My Thirty-Two Years in Intelligence and Espionage Against the West (Basic Books)


WWII / Special Operations Executive (SOE)

Ben Macintyre (2010) Operation Mincemeat (Bloomsbury)

Nicholas Rankin (2008) Churchill’s Wizards: The British Genius for Deception 1914-1945 (Faber)

Roderick Bailey (2009) Forgotten Voices of the Secret War (Ebury Press)

M.R.D. Foot (1999) SOE: The Special Operations Executive 1940-1946 (Pimlico)


Brian Jones (2010) Failing Intelligence (Biteback Publishing)

Neil Mackay (2006) The War on Truth (Sunday Herald Books)

Norman Baker MP (2007) The Strange Death of David Kelly (Methuen)

Richard Norton-Taylor (1995) Truth Is a Difficult Concept: Inside the Scott Enquiry (4th Estate)

Paul Henderson (1993) The Unlikely Spy (Bloomsbury)

“The Downing Street Memos” available at www.michaelsmithwriter.com



Ben MacIntyre (2008) For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming + James Bond (Bloomsbury)


What spook books do YOU recommend?  Do tell!