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  • Published: 17 September 2020
  • ISBN: 9780241988893
  • Imprint: Penguin Audio
  • Format: Audio Download

Agent Sonya

Lover, Mother, Soldier, Spy

The incredible story behind the greatest female spy in history from one of Britain's most acclaimed historians

In the quiet Cotswolds village of Great Rollright in 1944, a thin, and unusually elegant, housewife emerged from her cottage to go on her usual bike ride. A devoted mother-of-three, attentive wife and friendly neighbour, Sonya Burton seemed to epitomise rural British domesticity.

However, rather than pedalling towards the shops with her ration book, Sonya was heading for the Oxfordshire countryside to gather scientific secrets from a nuclear physicist. Secrets that would enable the Soviet Union to build the atomic bomb.

Far from an obedient homemaker, Sonya Burton was a dedicated communist, a decorated colonel and a veteran spy who risked her life to keep the Soviet Union in the nuclear arms race.

In Agent Sonya, Ben Macintyre reveals the astonishing story behind the most important female spy in history.

  • Published: 17 September 2020
  • ISBN: 9780241988893
  • Imprint: Penguin Audio
  • Format: Audio Download

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Praise for Agent Sonya

The best true spy story I have ever read

John le Carré on 'The Spy and the Traitor'

Thrilling...Macintyre will have you hooked to her life's every twist and turn

Lucy Knight, Times/Sunday Times Books of the Year

Macintyre does true-life espionage better than anyone else. He has a remarkable ability to construct a narrative that is as taut and urgent as it is carefully nuanced.

John Preston, Evening Standard

Macintyre has found a real-life heroine worthy of his gifts as John le Carré's nonfiction counterpart

New York Times

This book is classic Ben Macintyre...quirky human details enliven every page... it is Macintyre's own vivid retelling of her perilous professional, personal and political life that make Agent Sonya such an accessible spy story.


He has the unerring gift of uncovering those astonishing truths that make even the best novelists of espionage seem both earthbound and artificial in comparison

Daily Telegraph

His best book yet

The Times

Another year, another blockbuster real-life spy tome... Think John le Carré at his early best - but fact not fiction

Daily Express

He...spins gloriously through one of the most extraordinary private lives of the 20th century

Daily Mail, Book of the Week

In Agent Sonya, Macintyre has pulled off his most remarkable trick: he leaves us admiring, and even cheering for, the woman at the heart of his story, someone who not only wanted to destroy our democracy but helped Russia get a nuclear bomb. She is the strongest character of all in Macintyre's bestselling series of wartime tales... I raced through the pages to keep up with the plot

Evening Standard

This impeccably researched account of her double life spans continents and is brilliantly compelling

Sunday Mirror

Macintyre's page-turner is a dazzling portrait of a flawed yet driven individual who risked everything (including her children) for the cause

Sunday Times

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