The Double Agent
Alexsi Smirnoff Book 2
Nov 15th, 2022
The Double Agent by William Christie is a spy thriller that is a sequel to The Single Spy. Both stories stand on their own and can be read out of order. This book starts right where The Single Spy left off.
“In A Single Spy the main character, Alexi, grows up on a collective farm near the Iranian border. He knows Farci along with Russian. Since he had a former friend that was from a family of German Communists Alexi is also fluent in German. As a boy he is a thief until he is arrested by the Russian secret police. He becomes a spy and is sent to Germany. After WWII broke out, he became an officer in German Army Intelligence. He finds out about a German plot to assassinate Winston Churchill. He foils the plot and defects to the British, which is where this book starts.”
Readers who did not read the first book are introduced to Alexsi Smirnoff. He is a Russian/German double agent who realizes he is trapped between two brutal dictatorships. Having betrayed both sides he decides to join the British intelligence, becoming a triple agent. He is inserted into Rome by the British as a signaler in the German Army SS headquarters. There he transmits coded messages back to England. He must balance the various forces from the Vatican, Italian nobility, the Italian resistance, and the German Army.
“Alexsi’s only loyalty is his own personal survival. He has the natural skills of a spy, like a con artist. He can bond with people, impersonate someone else, alert to his surroundings, able to illicit empathy, and must make moral choices. Overall, he is bold, coy, calm, a survivor, a charmer, a liar, sometimes kind, takes initiative with good judgement, and ruthless when he must be, but tries to avoid trouble.”
Because most of the Germans portrayed in this historical novel are real, readers get a glimpse into what Rome was like during 1943-1944. They also see how a spy must maneuver to save themselves. Yet, there are also moral issues that include how far must someone go to prevent the Nazi butchery that includes non-participation.