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Reilly Ace of Spies

Born in Russia in 1873, the man who became known as Sidney Reilly was raised as the son of middle-class Russian parents. But, while a student in Vienna, he learned that his father was in fact a Jewish doctor who had cared for his mother. In shock, he fled from Russia to Brazil. After working in bars, on boats and once as a doorman in a brothel, with an early display of courage and intelligence he saved the lives of two British explorers in the Brazilian jungle. They took him back with them to England, where he settled in London.

His immense charisma took him into the epicentre of metropolitan life, where he drew the attention of the British Secret Services. He adopted British identity, from Sigismund Rosenblum to Sidney Reilly, and so embarked on his career as a spy.

Robin Bruce Lockhart – whose father RH Bruce Lockhart was also a master spy and had worked with Reilly during the Russian revolution – recounts Reilly’s astonishing life. Written in a vivid, engaging style, this is surely one of the most thrilling life stories in history.

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