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During one of history’s darkest chapters, one man is determined to make a difference.In the tradition of Schindler’s List comes a thrilling novel based on the heroic true story of Fritz Kolbe, a widowed civil servant in Adolf Hitler’s foreign ministry. Recognizing that millions of lives are at stake, Kolbe uses his position to pass information to the Americans—risking himsDuring one of history’s darkest chapters, one man is determined to make a difference.In the tradition of Schindler’s List comes a thrilling novel based on the heroic true story of Fritz Kolbe, a widowed civil servant in Adolf Hitler’s foreign ministry. Recognizing that millions of lives are at stake, Kolbe uses his position to pass information to the Americans—risking himself and the people he holds most dear—and embarks on a dangerous double life as the Allies’ most important spy.Summoned from his South African post to return to Nazi Germany, Kolbe leaves behind his beloved fourteen-year-old daughter, a decision made for her safety that nonetheless torments him. And as he lives under the constant threat of arrest, he wrestles with the guilt of putting Marlene Wiese, a married nurse and the love of his life, in danger as they collaborate on Kolbe’s clandestine work.But no matter the personal cost, Kolbe will not be deterred. In scenes that pulse with suspense, he emerges as a towering figure who risked everything to save innocent lives—and Germany from itself....

Title : the honest spy
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 34330652
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

the honest spy Reviews

  • Steve
    2019-03-24 17:21

    Not your everyday WWII spy novel, and by no means perfect, but a sufficiently gratifying pick from the Kindle First heap and a relatively quick read.As for genre, this seems to be a mash-up between historical fiction, a garden variety page-turning spy novel, and ... something else, but I'm not sure what. On one level, the novel chronicles - and, apparently, takes any number of liberties with - the career of a (subsequently) celebrated spy, an actual historical figure, of whom there, apparently, was a rather definitive biography written in 2003 (in French), later translated into German (2004) and English (2004 or 2005), A Spy at the Heart of the Third Reich: The Extraordinary Story of Fritz Kolbe, America's Most Important Spy in World War II. Having not read the non-fiction version - which one must assume is more factually accurate but also more dry than this story - it's impossible to compare. Frankly, I wish I'd read the biography first so that I could compare them; but, having read this, I don't see myself rushing out to read another 300 pages on the same topic (particularly now that I spent some time doing online research and figuring out what portions of the story do and don't align with the mostly widely accepted historical record)...Of course, we're reading a translation, so I'm in no position to fully apportion my (mostly minor) frustrations with the book between the author and the translator. There's no question that it's a compelling story, and any life, let alone such a life, at such a time and place, must have its share of joys and sorrows. My gripe with the author is that I didn't find two of the major artistic decisions worth the candle. The temporal ping-pong between the retelling and the action story didn't seem worth it (to me) in light of the minimal pay-off at the end; nor did the introduction of a reporter and a photographer (two additional voices that, again, to me, felt like interlopers) add much to the suspense, texture or overall presentation. (OK, introducing romantic tension between characters unrelated to the historical story line had me scratching my head, particularly since we learn that the definitive biography of Kolbe was written long after his death.) Other than that, I wasn't inspired by the prose, and I found the vocabulary inconsistent and, in spots, disappointing. But these are mostly quibbles that kept an enjoyable, entertaining, informative, page-turning read from being something really special.

  • Manchester Military History Society (MMHS)
    2019-04-04 16:42

    Well written fictional account of relatively unknown WW2 spy.Written by German author Andreas Kollender, this book is based on the life of Fritz Kolbe a member of the German Diplomatic Service during World War 2 who had access to top secret information. He provided this information to the Allies for ideological reasons and not for personal gain and smuggled hundreds of top-secret files to American intelligence from 1943 onwards, continuing undetected until the end of the war. Allen Dulles, who became head of the CIA , but then an OSS officer in Switzerland said of Kolbe "No single diplomat abroad, of whatever rank, could have got his hands on so much information as did this man; he was one of my most valuable agents during World War II."Although based on Kolbe, the book doesn’t follow his personal life exactly and certainly creates a fiction that allow the author to portray more depth to the man in his personal life and struggles with his conscience. The book is framed within a fictional post-war interview with a pair of journalists and starts with Kolbe in South Africa at the declaration of war which is interesting in itself, showing how German embassy and legation staff were treated upon the outbreak of war.There’s good colour to the OSS station on Berne with some of the early career of Allen Dulles being illustrated as well as the contrasts between life in neutral Switzerland versus late war Germany.Steve Anderson has translated this book from the German and he’s done a great job as the text flows well and moves along at a good pace. Whilst I’d not call it an absolute page turner, the author keeps the tension as the fear of capture and death increases with each day.If I had to criticise anything it would have been the use of Kolbe’s real name alongside an obvious fiction. Although all history is subject to someone’s interpretation, I have mixed feelings around taking the name of a real person of honour and heroism and creating fiction around them, especially as a fictitious name appears to be used for Kolbe’s friend in Bern.That being said, this was as entertaining read and a good insight into the quandaries and challenges that faced Kolbe during World War 2. I was given a copy of this book by the publisher, but was not compelled to write a positive review.

  • Peter Jones
    2019-03-26 11:23

    ABOUT THIS BOOK-During one of history’s darkest chapters, one man is determined to make a difference.In the tradition of Schindler’s List comes a thrilling novel based on the heroic true story of Fritz Kolbe, a widowed civil servant in Adolf Hitler’s foreign ministry. Recognizing that millions of lives are at stake, Kolbe uses his position to pass information to the Americans—risking himself and the people he holds most dear—and embarks on a dangerous double life as the Allies’ most important spy.Summoned from his South African post to return to Nazi Germany, Kolbe leaves behind his beloved fourteen-year-old daughter, a decision made for her safety that nonetheless torments him. And as he lives under the constant threat of arrest, he wrestles with the guilt of putting Marlene Wiese, a married nurse and the love of his life, in danger as they collaborate on Kolbe’s clandestine work.But no matter the personal cost, Kolbe will not be deterred. In scenes that pulse with suspense, he emerges as a towering figure who risked everything to save innocent lives—and Germany from itself. MY REVIEW-'Lest we forget'. Because we never should. This is another riveting example of historical faction set in the darkest days of WWII. Based on the true story of a wartime hero, The Honest Spy by Andrea Kollender no doubt takes many liberties with the truth, but in doing so provides us with an interestingly different slant on a spy story, one that I found equally compelling and intriguing. The author has written a tense and suspenseful story of the courage shown by one man in standing up for his beliefs and daring to make a difference. I found it difficult to put this book down. Highly recommended 4.5 stars for this, the second excellent book I have read by this author. Thank you to Amazon Crossing for providing a digital copy of The Honest Spy by Andrea Kollender for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

  • george mance
    2019-04-12 13:20

    Enjoyed it very much. Good tension leading to a surprise twist at the end. Glad it was based on a true story of an uncommon hero.If you like WWII drama, this is a book you can't put down. Who doesn't like a wartime love story .

  • Caz
    2019-03-30 13:14

    This was very well written, I went through such a varied range of emotions reading it. You really have to admire someone who not only stays true to their beliefs under such extraordinary circumstances but also puts themselves at risk for the greater good. The story, which is based upon the real life hero Fritz Kolbe, utterly captivated me. A great read.

  • Jürgen Zeller
    2019-04-07 11:33

    Dieser Kriminalroman enthält eine Spionagegeschichte und ist zugleich ein Historischer Roman mit biografischen Elementen. Es ist die Würdigung eines äusserlich unscheinbaren aber mutigen Mannes mit hohen ethischen Prinzipien der sein Leben riskiert hat, um dem Wahnsinn des 2. Weltkriegs ein möglichst frühes Ende zu setzen oder zumindest dem herrschenden Regime der Nazis Sand in die gut geölte Kriegsmaschinerie zu streuen. Mit der Weitergabe von elementaren Geheiminformationen wird er indirekt zum Saboteur des Regimes. Das diese Geschichte auf einer realen Person und wahren Begebenheiten beruht habe ich erst ganz am Ende des Buches bemerkt.Fritz Kolbe ist ein bescheidener Mann der während des 2. Weltkriegs im Auswärtigen Amt in Berlin arbeitet. Mit seiner dezenten wie unauffälligen Art aber einigem Arbeitseifer macht er sich bei seinen Vorgesetzten beliebt. Er ist unter anderem dafür verantwortlich, streng geheime Dokumente zu vernichten. Das er einige Berichte vor dem Feuer rettet oder vorher Kopien anfertigt bleibt unbemerkt. Fritz Kolbe wird sogar ausgewählt als diplomatischer Kurier nach Bern zu reisen. Dort nutzt er die Möglichkeit die vertraulichen Dokumente amerikanischen Geheimdienstleuten zu übergeben. Aus dem braven Beamten Fritz Kolbe wird ein eminent wichtiger Spion. Sein Doppelleben in Berlin Aufrecht zu erhalten und Informationen weiterzugeben wird mit dem sich abzeichnenden Ende des Krieges und der aufkommenden Nervosität und Verzweiflung der Politgranden immer schwieriger. Das gegenseitige Misstrauen auf den Fluren des Amtes ist spürbar und wird zu einer grossen Gefahr.Der Schriftsteller Andreas Kollender schreibt einen von A bis Z überzeugenden Roman. In seiner Struktur und dem Verzicht auf unnötige Actionszenen weicht er zwar vom klassischen Kriminalroman ab aber dank der eingängigen Schreibweise und der feinen Personenzeichnung bleibt der Spannungsbogen über die ganzen 448 Seiten hoch. Der Autor fädelt geschickt eine aufkeimende Liebelei mit Marlene ein und als Leser identifiziert man sich mit den beiden und hofft es möge gut ausgehen. Ein lesenswertes Buch über eine schwere Zeit in der Moral und Menschlichkeit lebensgefährlich waren.

  • Steve Harding
    2019-04-04 10:35

    Interesting and important read. We and future generations should NEVER be allowed to forget what happened in the Great Wars.The book was well written, although I found the switching between the two timelines confusing at times.

  • Brenda Styer
    2019-04-04 16:24

    Doing what is right regardless of the outcomeThe incredible story of Fritz Kolbes espionage during WWII as a foreign diplomat within the German Government. He paid s terrible price for his acts of courage

  • M. LeeAnne Finney
    2019-04-14 13:17

    Great story it kept my attention. I liked the main character staying true to his beliefs and not cave in and join the nazi party. I hat d marleen left in the end. These stories need to me told. What goes on in between the lines is what the story is about Very well wrote.

  • Elizabeth K. Walker
    2019-04-09 17:43

    A KeeperI recommend this book to all my fellow spy novel lovers. This account balances the fictional portrayals that improvise and romanticize with the awful reality of the sacrifice of those who truly lived the life.

  • Charlesvan Buren
    2019-04-06 13:28

     A powerful, well written novel, October 15, 2017Verified Purchase(What's this?)This review is from: The Honest Spy (Kindle Edition)It is easy for those of us of the 20th and 21st centuries living in Western democracies to say that the Fritz Kolbe of this novel did the right thing. That he should have had no moral qualms about betraying the evil Nazis. It was not so evident from his or other Germans' point of view. He was not a Nazi but he was a German. He was not betraying just the Nazis but his country as well. All of those who died because of the information he passed to the Americans were not Nazis. Kolbe was a hero not just because of the danger he braved but also because he made a most difficult moral decision about what he believed to be right. That decision and its consequences understandably haunted him for the rest of his life. He was able to see and hear of bombing raids, U-boat sinkings and other death and destruction which resulted from the information he provided. That story of inner conflict and soul searching is captured in this powerful, well written novel.This novel is said to be based on historical events. However, it is not history and should not be relied upon as such.

  • Kaye
    2019-04-11 17:42

    This was a gripping story, told somewhat simplistically. Based on a real-life WWII espionage case, the book portrays a German man who avoids the nationalistic frenzy of the Third Reich. Fritz Kolbe is depicted as a man for whom the ties of family and friendship transcend social pressures to conform. He is an unlikely hero, one whose company I enjoyed. Still, it felt a bit as if I were being led along and educated as I read. I was given a Netgalley advanced reader's copy of this book.

  • Mary Sue Wilson
    2019-04-16 13:15

    ExcellentWell written. Full of intrigue. A love story. Most of all, a story about doing what's right despite the danger. The true story of a German spy who took great risks to make a difference in WWII.

  • Robert C. Dillon
    2019-04-09 11:38

    Very interesting storyVery well do about a German diplomat that risked so much because of his hatred of the Nazi's and Hitler. The book chronicles how he was able to smuggle vital secret German documents to US intelligence.

  • Sandy Bailey
    2019-04-11 12:21

    Wow!I could not put this book down! I could not help wondering how someone could do all of the things Fritz Kolbe did. He was a hero in his own right with the bravery and fortitude that he exhibited standing up to the Na,I Regime.

  • Pat
    2019-04-06 11:15

    German Audio book--story of Fritz Kolbe, a German diplomat during World War II and how he works against Hitler. He refuses to join the Nazi party. A story of love of a daughter, woman and his country. Sommer 1943: Hitler muss weg! Das steht für Fritz Kolbe fest. Als Mitarbeiter des Auswärtigen Amtes hat er Zugang zu streng geheimen Dokumenten, die er aus der Behörde schmuggelt. Eine Kurierfahrt in die Schweiz ermöglicht ihm die Kontaktaufnahme zu den Amerikanern. Kolbe beginnt ein lebensgefährliches Doppel­leben. Er übergibt den Amerikanern hochbrisantes Mate­rial, darunter der genaue Lageplan der Wolfsschanze, Hitlers Hauptquartier, sowie wichtige Hinweise auf Spione und einen deutschen Geheimsender in Irland. Die Alli­ierten nutzen seine Informationen, aber Hitler bleibt an der Macht und der sinnlose Krieg geht weiter. Kolbe zweifelt mehr und mehr an seiner Mission, will aufgeben, doch Marlene, die Frau, die ihm alles bedeutet, ermutigt ihn zum Weitermachen. Bis es zu einem folgenschweren Unfall kommt … Andreas Kollenders Sprache entwickelt eine unglaubliche Sogwirkung, augenblicklich ist man gefangen in seiner Geschichte von Widerstand und Liebe, von Mut und Zivilcourage.

  • skip thurnauer
    2019-04-11 11:35

    The Honest Spy was an Amazon recommendation that I am glad I snatched up. It is the fictionalized account of Fritz Kolbe, a German foreign office employee during WW II. Kolbe was stationed in S. Africa when hostilities in Europe broke out. He was opposed to the Nazi regime and their fanaticism when he was called back to the Fatherland. Even though he refuses to join the party, Kolbe's new position exposes him to high-level correspondence from the Nazi high command. He approaches the British with an offer to steal documents but they turn him down. Next he approaches the U.S. While initially suspicious, Kolbe becomes a trusted agent. His courier responsibilities take him to Switzerland where he is able to deliver the goods directly into the hands of future CIA director Allen Dulles. After the war, Dulles labels Kolbe the most important spy in the European theater. Unlike many spies, Kolbe risks his life but asks for no compensation, even when it is offered by the Americans. In the fictionalized version of Kolbe's life he develops a love interest with the beautiful Marlena who assists in his spying efforts. The author paints a vivid portrait of Kolbe and wartime Germany, contrasting the aristocratic German high command with the suffering man-in-the-street. I didn't realize Kolbe was a real historical figure and had to verify for myself after finishing The Honest Spy. He was and this is a Goodread.

  • Carolyn
    2019-04-13 14:24

    This is one of those historical fiction books that sticks as closely as possible to the truth, using real names with fiction only to fill in the gaps in the record. Superbly written. The hero, Fritz Kolbe, is a German who hates Nazism but finds himself in an important government office because of personal connections. He has access to secrets about troop deployments and battlefield strategies, and after major battles with his conscience, he becomes a spy for the Americans, meeting Allen Dulles on his occasional official trips to Switzerland. Hard to stomach sometimes in its gruesome descriptions of Berlin at war, with so many buildings left in ruins and corpses in the streets. Kolbe fell in love with a woman whose husband was away in the army and he sometimes has to choose between endangering her and following his conscience. The relationship almost results in happiness ever after, but fate steps in to ruin it. Highly recommended, especially to WWII buffs.

  • Tony Bezilla
    2019-04-05 14:29

    A great and important historical novelIf you are a student of history or simply enjoy historical novels you will love this book. It is an accurate depiction of the life of the most important spy of WWII for the fledging American OSS (predecessor to the CIA). It also offers interesting insights into the minds of two of the most important American intelligence operators in US history: Allen Dulles and William Priest. The English translation leaves the reader with a few notable grammatical quandaries as the English language isn't quite as precise as the author's native German. For that reason alone it rates four stars instead of the five it probably deserves.

  • Helen
    2019-04-04 16:42

    Brilliant book! It's not often I am so enamoured by a book but this absolutely deserves it. It is also the first Kindle First book I have enjoyed.Based On a real person, Fritz Kolbe is The Honest Spy. Written from the perspective of a German official it gave me a whole new view of Nazi Germany and an insight into what ordinary German citizens went through during 6 years as well has how fanatical the party faithful were. For someone who did so much it is amazing I'd never heard of him. By coincidence I'd made a concerted effort to finish a book about Bletchley this weekend so some of the events I have now read from both sides. I

  • Katherine Daley
    2019-04-12 15:22

    Good read!This was a fascinating story based on a real person and real events. It was sometimes hard to remember that because of the courage and danger that the main character loved with every day. I finished it in 1 1/2 days. The only thing I would add is that the ending was fairly abrupt and left a couple of big questions in limbo.

  • Charlene
    2019-03-26 09:31

    As spy stories goThe shift in time furthered the feel of deeply held emotion throughout. Fritz's courage and integrity was clear throughout the novel. Living a double life, he was able to help bring the German Third Reich to it's knees. The love story woven through the fear filled spying helped to understand the motives of those Germans who saw clearly the pathology of Hitler and the genocide he perpetrated. I love stories about actual people and events. I love spy stories. The Honest Spy provides the reader both. The ending felt cut short and only the afterward satisfied some of the feeling that there should or might be a sequel.

  • Kay Nesbitt
    2019-04-07 13:23

    ExcellentMy only fault with this book was the length of some chapters, otherwise it was an incredible story mixing fact and fiction.

  • Elyse
    2019-04-07 10:30

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC of this book.4.5 StarsThis book was so engrossing that I read it in one night and didn't realize it was a true story until the very end. I loved the characters and the story, and how the author provided good historical context throughout the events of the book. One thing I greatly appreciated about The Honest Spy is how it explores the moral ambiguity in times of great suffering. It makes you think - what would I have done if I were put in the same situation? Sometimes heartwarming, but often heartbreaking, this is an immersive book with all the trappings of great fiction - but its true!

  • Richard Winston
    2019-04-17 09:40

    Powerful, Compelling, InsightfulThe story this novel has to tell paints a detailed picture of life lived in the horror of total war. You've seen film of the B-17s dropping bombs on German cities. Ever wonder what it was like down below? The narrative is a little slow getting started, but if you can endure the glacial pace of the opening and pull together the many story threads, you will be rewarded with an insider's view of the upper echelons of the Third Reich and WWII espionage.

  • Mandi Waller
    2019-03-25 16:13

    Loosely based on a true story, I liked reading about WW11 Germany from a new perspective - the perspective of a German who hates Hitler and Nazis. The book follows a man who stays in Berlin just to undermine the war by passing info off to the Americans. The intensity and stress in the book really sucks the reader into that world. I admired how he tried to do what was right in his eyes, despite it being very dangerous.

  • Michael B. Cook
    2019-03-30 09:40

    This was a really enjoyable read. I love history based fiction and this was a good one. I was sad when the book ended.I couldn't put the book down. I was more disappointed when the book was done because I had no more story to enjoy. When I have the two prior feelings about a book I know it is a good one. Excellent read. I highly recommend it.

  • Zohar -
    2019-04-16 09:29

    The Honest Spy by Andreas Kollender (translated by Steve Anderson) is a historical fiction book about a German clerk spying for the USA. This is a fictionalized account of Fritz Kolbe, one of the most important resources the allies had during that time.Fritz Kolbe, a widowed clerk, has been called back to German from South Africa. Recognizing the evils of the Nazi regime from afar, Fritz leaves his only daughter in Africa and returns to Berlin to do his duty.Recognizing that he’s on the wrong side of the war, Mr. Kolbe uses his position to pass information to the Americans.The Honest Spy by Andreas Kollender (translated by Steve Anderson) is an amazing account, fictionalized as it may be, of Fritz Kolbe, an ethical man living in a most unethical place and doing his best to do what he knows is right.The author created a very convincing novel, telling the story of Mr. Kolbe both in the present as well as with the advantage of hindsight. Even though the story is about a middle aged clerk, a gray man with a gray job, it was an intense read full of suspense and humor.The story captures the integrity and bravery of Mr. Kolbe. He jeopardized his life over the course of years to do what he believes is right. Sadly, after the war, the Germans considered Mr. Kolbe a traitor and he had a difficult time finding work.This is a riveting book, based on a real life hero. I wish some details were left in, such as how Mr. Kolbe took blank passports and helped Jews escape but I understand that sometimes stories have to error on the side of the narrative and pace. A big kudos to the translator, Steve Anderson, for a job well done.For more reviews and bookish posts please visit:

  • Brad
    2019-03-30 16:33

    Fact Can Be Better Than Fiction, But Fiction Can Improve FactThis novel does a fine job of weaving an interesting fictional narrative around the real life and accomplishments of Fritz Kolbe. After initially wanting to match the story to reality, I finally let myself become engrossed in a very well told story. Even though I knew some of what had to occur by the end, the telling kept me wondering if it would ultimately stray to far. The story kept me reading even when I was too tired to continue.

  • Jamie Whitehead
    2019-03-30 15:14

    A book I couldn't put down. Exciting, frightening, engaging and insightful. It is a fictionalized version of a true story. I am now inspired to read a biography on Fritz Kolbe. It shows how one man's choices had a large impact in the war. It is very well written and portrays how difficult it is to do the right thing. Even when we know and feel what that is, most are too political and finally, too self-serving to follow through. A really great read! I highly recommend it!