M – Maxwell Knight, MI5’s Greatest Spymaster by Henry Hemming

Matt Charman, Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Stephen Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, and
Mammoth Screen, makers of Poldark and Victoria, are producing a big budget TV series based on M.

“I raced through Henry Hemming’s book, constantly having to remind myself that it wasn’t a work of fiction. It really has everything you’d want from a great espionage story: incredible agents risking their lives; the highest possible stakes, with the safety of the world hanging in the balance; and at its heart a complicated, mercurial spymaster spinning an ever more intricate web.”  Matt Charman
Maxwell Knight was a paradox. A jazz obsessive and nature enthusiast (he is the author of the definitive work on how to look after a gorilla), he is seen today as one of MI5’s greatest spymasters, a man who did more than any other to break up British fascism during the Second World War – in spite of having once belonged to the British Fascisti himself. He was known to his agents and colleagues simply as M, and was rumoured to be part of the inspiration for the character M in the James Bond series.

Knight became a legendary spymaster despite an almost total lack of qualifications. What set him apart from his peers was a mercurial ability to transform almost anyone into a fearless secret agent. He was the first in MI5 to grasp the potential of training female agents.

M is about more than just one man however. In its pages, Hemming reveals for the first time in print the names and stories of seven men and women recruited by Knight, on behalf of MI5, and then asked to infiltrate the most dangerous political organisations in Britain at that time. Until now, their identities have been kept secret outside MI5. Drawn from every walk of life, they led double lives — often at great personal cost — in order to protect the country they loved. With the publication of this book, it will be possible at last to celebrate the lives of these courageous, selfless individuals.

Drawing on declassified documents, private family archives and interviews with retired MI5 officers as well as the families of MI5 agents, M reveals not just the shadowy world of espionage but a brilliant, enigmatic man at its centre.


My 2 pence:

Anything related to Spies I’m in! Anything True and fact based too! Detective Maxwell has a full live action life and it’s worth a read. Henry Hemming brings this person to life again and how how clearly written and such a great research derived in how intriguing and catchy this books is. A big praise to him on this book and the good news is that we will see more about Knight on the new TV series soon.

Get M – Maxwell Knight, MI5’s Greatest Spymaster by Henry Hemming

You may also like