Portrait of the Spy As a Young Man

£9.99

1941: a teenage William Catesby leaves Cambridge to join the army and support the war effort. Parachuted into Occupied France as an SOE officer, he witnesses tragedies and remarkable feats of bravery during the French Resistance. 2014: now in his 90s, Catesby recounts his life to his granddaughter for the first time. Their interviews weave together the historical, the personal and the emotional, skipping across different decades and continents to reveal a complex and conflicted man. Catesby’s incredible story recounts a life of spying and the trauma of war, but also lost love, yearning, and hope for the future.

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A thrilling SOE spy novel by a former special forces officer who is ‘poised to inherit the mantle of John le Carré’

‘Edward Wilson seems poised to inherit the mantle of John le Carré’ Irish Independent

‘More George Smiley than James Bond, Catesby will delight those readers looking for less blood and more intelligence in their spy thrillers’ Publishers Weekly

Cambridge, 1941. A teenage William Catesby leaves his studies to join the war effort.

Parachuted into Occupied France as an SOE officer, he witnesses remarkable feats of bravery during the
French Resistance.

Yet he is also privy to infighting and betrayal – some of the Maquisards are more concerned with controlling the peace than fighting the war. Double agents and informers abound, and with torture a certainty if he is taken, Catesby knows there is no one he can trust.

Passed from safe house to safe house, with the Abwehr on his tail, he is drawn towards Lyon, a city of backstreets and blind alleys. His mission is simple: thwart an act of treachery that could shape the future of France.

‘Edward Wilson’s excellent Portrait of the Spy as a Young Man draws on his own special forces training’
Independent

‘Engaging . . . Dynamic . . . Wilson’s fascination is as much with how the spy betrays himself as with how
he manipulates others’ The Times

Praise for Edward Wilson:

‘Stylistically sophisticated . . . Wilson knows how to hold the reader’s attention’ W.G. Sebald

‘A reader is really privileged to come across something like this’ Alan Sillitoe

‘All too often, amid the glitzy gadgetry of the spy thriller, all the fast cars and sexual adventures, we lose sight of the essential seriousness of what is at stake. John le Carré reminds us, often, and so does Edward Wilson’ Independent

Additional information

Weight 0.22 kg
Dimensions 19.6 × 12.8 × 2.2 cm
Author

Publisher

Imprint

Cover

Paperback

Pages

265

Language

English

Edition

1st paperback ed

Dewey

813.6 (edition:23)

Readership

General – Trade / Code: K