Klop Britain's Most Ingenious Spy
By Peter Day
Klop Ustinov was Britain’s most ingenious secret agent, but he wasn’t authorised to kill. Instead, he was authorised to tell tall tales, bemusing and beguiling his enemies into revealing their deepest, darkest secrets. From the Russian Revolution to the Cold War, he bluffed and tricked his way into the confidence of everyone from Soviet commissars to Gestapo Gruppenführer.
In Klop: Britain’s Most Ingenious Secret Agent, journalist Peter Day brings to life a man descended from Russian aristocrats and Ethiopian princesses but who fancied himself the perfect Englishman. His codename was U35 but his better-known nickname ‘Klop’ meant ‘bedbug’, a name given to him by a very understanding wife on account of his extraordinary capacity to hop from one woman’s bed to another in the service of the King.
Frequenting the social gatherings of Europe in the guise of innocent bon viveur, he displayed a showman’s talent for entertaining (a trait his son, the actor Peter Ustinov, undoubtedly inherited), holding a captive audience and all the while scavenging secrets from his unsuspecting companions. Klop was masterful at gathering truth by telling a story; this is his.
By their very nature all spy stories are extraordinary, but this particular tale certainly surpasses them all!Britain At War
Day offers a vivid, richly researched and highly entertaining portrait of this most colourful of 20th-Century spooks.Christopher Hart, Sunday Times
What a great book. I am holding it all day in my arms where ever I go, like a new born baby. Thank you for having restored to him the life he deserves.Igor Ustinov
4/5: Day’s readable narrativeThe Telegraph
4/5. A fascinating behind-the-scenes account of World War II and the Cold War... Using anecdotes and first-hand accounts, it brings the palpable fear of wartime espionage to life… This thoroughly well-researched book is an excellent addition to the history of the Cold War and will fascinate anyone interested in real-life stories of secret agents, conspiracy, defectors, and top secret intelligence.Daily Express
Day has written a richly researched portrait.Catholic Herald
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- Hardback, 352 pages
- ISBN: 9781849546935
- 24 June 2014
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