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

    Genres

  • 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: Let's Call It a Doomsday
    Let's Call It a Doomsday
    by Katie Henry
    However the world will end, Ellis Kimball is ready for it. Her obsessive stash of survivalist ...
  • Book Jacket: The Winemaker's Wife
    The Winemaker's Wife
    by Kristin Harmel
    Liv Kent's world is falling apart. After 12 years of marriage, her husband has decided he's done, ...
  • Book Jacket: On the Clock
    On the Clock
    by Emily Guendelsberger
    In her excellent debut, On The Clock, journalist Emily Guendelsberger thoughtfully examines the ...
  • Book Jacket
    America for Beginners
    by Leah Franqui
    Leah Franqui's first novel America for Beginners was well-reviewed by our First Impression readers; ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Yale Needs Women
    by Anne Gardiner Perkins


    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Secrets We Kept
    by Lara Prescott

    Reese Witherspoon's Sept Book Club Pick!
    "This is the rare page-turner with prose that’s as wily as its plot."—EW
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
by Kim Michele Richardson

A story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman's belief that books can carry us anywhere.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The Red Address Book

The Red Address Book
by Sofia Lundberg

"Wise and captivating, Lundberg's novel offers clear-eyed insights into old age and the solace of memory."--People

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A Place F E A E I I P

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 the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.