Summary and book reviews of A Gathering of Spies by John Altman

A Gathering of Spies

by John Altman

A Gathering of Spies by John Altman X
A Gathering of Spies by John Altman
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2000, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2001, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Two spies play cat-and-mouse games across three countries,during World War II.

Every once in a while, a new thriller writer emerges with such an instant command of his craft that readers everywhere take notice. Such a one is John Altman, with A Gathering of Spies.

In l943, America thought it had rounded up all the German spies on its soil. It was wrong. Now, Germany's greatest weapon - a woman with special talents, both for tradecraft and for death - is headed home with critical information about the still-developing atomic bomb, and the Allies' chief hope for stopping her is a British agent with agendas of his own. Originally recruited into MI5 to pose as a double agent, he's been telling the Germans that he'd do anything to free his wife, a prisoner of a concentration camp in Poland. This happens to be true. The question is: How much would he really do to set her free? Where are his loyalties exactly?

As the two spies play cat-and-mouse games across three countries, the ambiguities deepen, each figure showing new sides, each action providing new twists, until at last both agents are swept into a series of climaxes as unpredictable as they are inevitable. This is suspense writing at its best-and the beginning of a brilliant new career.

1942

They had been driving in silence for twenty minutes. Winterbotham's eyes were beginning to drift shut, despite his best efforts to keep them open, when Colonel Fredricks suddenly said, "You know, Professor, you're not at all what I expected."

For a few moments, Winterbotham considered letting it pass. He knew what the colonel meant, and he wasn't in the mood for a fight. He was too goddamned tired. But then his pride - his old bedraggled pride, never knowing when to stay down-forced him to respond.

"How do you mean, Colonel?" he asked.

The colonel let out a small chuckle. "I had been led to expect a sort of wildcat, I suppose."

Winterbotham looked out his window for another moment before answering. The countryside drifted past in absolute darkness; he couldn't make out even the top of the tree line. For the previous two years, all of England had been shutting itself down every night when dusk fell. He supposed they served their purpose, these ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A debut suspenser chock-full of the requisite genre elements—plus a lot more gore than even those specs call for.

Author Blurb Stephen Coont
A sizzling zinger of a classic spy story. With his lean, taut style,Altman doesn't waste a word

Author Blurb Jack Higgins
If there are thriller writers better than this, I'd like to know who they are. John Altman is a major new talent on the scene.

Author Blurb Ronald Kessler, author of Moscow Station and The FBI
John Altman has spun a spellbinding tale that is at once terrifying, amusing, and enchanting. His cinematic prose is so vivid you can smell the cigarette smoke.

Reader Reviews

James Newsom

A GATHERING OF SPIES
One of the best spy novels set in World War II that I have read. I am considered one of the top historians on World War II and I am amazed that this novel by John Altman finally had the setting of the Manhattan Project as its setting. In 1943 Stalin ...   Read More

Sandeep

The Author narrated the intricacies and fineese involed in the spy world and is worth spending time reading it.

Mitch Teichman

This book is amazing i could not put it down !!!

Paul Muller

The greatest booki have ever read,and i've read a lot of other books, noneeven coming close to this one.

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked A Gathering of Spies, try these:

  • Too Bad to Die jacket

    Too Bad to Die

    by Francine Mathews

    Published 2016

    About this book

    A tense and enthralling historical thriller in which British Naval Intelligence officer Ian Fleming attempts to foil a Nazi plot to assassinate FDR, Churchill, and Stalin.

  • A Spy Among Friends jacket

    A Spy Among Friends

    by Ben Macintyre

    Published 2015

    About this book

    More books by this author

    Master storyteller Ben Macintyre's most ambitious work to date brings to life the twentieth century's greatest spy story.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Small Fry
    Small Fry
    by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
    Small Fry is the debut memoir from Lisa Brennan-Jobs, long-time journalist and writer, and oldest ...
  • Book Jacket: The Winter Soldier
    The Winter Soldier
    by Daniel Mason
    Imagine the thousands of confounding cases doctors face routinely for which diagnoses are hard to ...
  • Book Jacket: Brother
    Brother
    by David Chariandy
    Brother is the brief, moving account of how a single, tragic moment in time can alter the course of ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Islamic Enlightenment
    by Christopher de Bellaigue
    In this comprehensive and well-researched history, de Bellaigue examines the evolution of Islamic ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Removes by Tatjana Soli

A powerful, transporting novel about the addictive intensity and freedom of the American frontier.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    French Exit
    by Patrick deWitt

    A brilliant and darkly comic novel from bestselling author Patrick deWitt.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton

A rich, spellbinding new novel from the author of The Lake House. On sale Oct 9.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T Turn T S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.