‘An important book on a figure who deserves proper historical attention.’
dean, Leiden University College, The Hague, and author of Western Anti-Communism and the Interdoc Network
‘Dick Ellis’s adventures not only rival those of James Bond;
he was James Bond.’
author of The Second Oldest Profession
and Philby: KGB Masterspy
‘The most intriguing figure who has crossed the often-surprising landscape of Australian intelligence’.
BRIAN TOOHEY AND WILLIAM PINWILL,
authors of Oyster: The Story of The Australian Secret Intelligence Service
‘A sturdy, genial Australian-born survivor of the intelligence wars from Paris to the Soviet border.’
author of The Old Boys: The American Elite and the Origins of the CIA
‘One of the most shadowy figures of all.’
DESMOND BALL AND DAVID HORNER,
authors of Breaking the Codes: Australia’s KGB Network, 1944–1950
‘[Ellis] slid down the slippery slope of treachery in support of alien creeds, until he was committing treason to a degree which could have sent him to the gallows.’
author of Their Trade is Treachery and Too Secret Too Long
‘Perhaps an even worse traitor [than Kim Philby], making Philby look like a rank amateur.’
author of A Matter of Trust: MI5 1945–72 and MI6: British Secret Intelligence Service Operations, 1909–1945
‘The Grand Old Man of British espionage… the oldest living professional agent.’
author of A Man Called Intrepid
and Intrepid’s Last Case
Part biography, part forensic jigsaw puzzle, part cold-case detective investigation, The Eagle in the Mirror is the astonishing untold story of the Australian-born British soldier and intelligence officer accused by some espionage experts of being the traitor of the century:
CHARLES HOWARD ‘DICK’ ELLIS.
The longest serving spy for the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), Ellis helped set up the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), now known as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), as well as the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS). At one point in the 1940s he was considered one of the top three secret agents in MI6 and controlled its activities, as one journalist put it, ‘for half the world’.
But in the 1980s crusading espionage journalist CHAPMAN PINCHER (in the hugely successful books Their Trade is Treachery and Too Secret Too Long) and retired MI5 intelligence officer PETER WRIGHT (in the worldwide bestseller Spycatcher) posthumously accused Ellis of having operated as a ‘triple agent’ for Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
In 1965, while under interrogation in London, Ellis had allegedly made a confession that he had supplied information to the Nazis before World War II. The scope of Ellis’s purported betrayal was considered even worse than notorious British traitor and double agent KIM PHILBY, who defected to the Soviet Union in 1963.
However, Pincher’s and Wright’s accusations against Ellis have never been comprehensively proven. No confession has materialised. Meanwhile, other writers and former colleagues of Ellis, including historian ANTHONY CAVE BROWN and the man known around the world as ‘Intrepid’, WILLIAM STEPHENSON, publicly defended him to the hilt.
Was Ellis guilty or was an innocent man framed? By confessing did he take the fall for someone else? Or had the intelligence agencies of the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia been fatally compromised by a ‘super mole’? Internationally bestselling author JESSE FINK (Pure Narco, Bon: The Last Highway, The Youngs) attempts to find out the truth once and for all.
The Eagle in the Mirror is not just a long-overdue biography of the unheralded Dick Ellis; it’s a gripping real-life international whodunit.
The Eagle in the Mirror will be released by Penguin Random House Australia and Black & White Publishing (UK) in August 2023, and Kensington Publishing (USA) in June 2024