Mi6

Oleg Gordievsky, the ultimate spy story — and Ben Macintyre, the best writer to tell it

6 October 2018 9:00 am

Spy stories, whether the stuff of fictional thrillers or, as in the case of Sergei Skripal, the real deal —…

Give yourself a treat and hurry on down to Spook Street

4 February 2017 9:00 am

It’s good to be back in Spook Street, home of the nation’s secret service. From a handful of locations across…

A son’s search for the mother he never met

24 September 2016 9:00 am

To tell this story of his search for a mother lost to mystery in early infancy, its author uses the…

From hot war to Cold War: GCHQ comes of age

10 September 2016 9:00 am

There are now enough books about Bletchley Park for it to become part of national mythology, along with the Tudors,…

How my father plotted against Gaddafi — by Hisham Matar

25 June 2016 8:00 am

Hisham Matar’s family memoir of terrible deeds — and of love, loyalty and courage — simply must be read, says Horatio Clare

Spies in the spotlight

7 November 2015 9:00 am

Spying is a branch of philosophy, although you would never guess it from that expression on Daniel Craig’s face. Its…

Bond would be bored in today’s MI6, says Malcolm Rifkind

6 June 2015 9:00 am

Spying may be one of the two oldest professions, but unlike the other one it has changed quite a lot…

The Heckler: why it’s time to kill off James Bond

11 April 2015 9:00 am

For fans of the franchise who remain unconvinced by Daniel Craig’s time on her majesty’s secret service, the stories leaking…

Max Hastings’s diary: The joys of middle age, and Prince Charles’s strange letters

4 April 2015 9:00 am

I am living in rustic seclusion while writing a book. Our only cultural outing of the week was to Newbury…

Baiting the trap with CHEESE: how we fooled the Germans in the second world war

28 March 2015 9:00 am

Second world war deception operations are now widely known, particularly those which misled the Germans into thinking that the D-Day…

You know something’s up when MI6 moves its head office to Croydon

21 June 2014 9:00 am

Alan Judd’s spy novels occupy a class of their own in the murky world of espionage fiction, partly because they…

A Colder War, by Charles Cumming - review

31 May 2014 9:00 am

The title of Charles Cumming’s seventh novel is both a nod to the comfortable polarities of Cold War and also…

Kim Philby at the press conference he called in 1955 to deny being the ‘Third Man’

Kim Philby got away with it because he was posh

8 March 2014 9:00 am

Kim Philby’s treachery escaped detection for so long through the stupidity and snobbery of the old-boy network surrounding him, says Philip Hensher

Russian Roulette, by Giles Milton - review

31 August 2013 9:00 am

Had Onan not spilled his seed upon the ground, he might have invented invisible ink. The possibility had not occurred…

The ne plus Ultra

23 July 2011 12:00 am

The story of Bletchley Park, MI6’s second world war code-breaking operation, has grown with the telling since the early 1970s accounts — although, as Briggs points out, Bletchley’s first public disclosure was in Time magazine in December 1945.

Two wars and three Cs

30 October 2010 12:00 am

When in 1909 a 50-year-old retired naval officer, Mansfield Cumming, was asked to set up what became today’s Secret Intelligence Service — better known as MI6— the suggestion that there might one day be an official history would have been unthinkable.