- File Size: 893 KB
- Print Length: 134 pages
- Publisher: Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Co. (March 28, 2014)
- Publication Date: March 28, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00JCA3YJI
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,861,147 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$13.97|
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Double Spy Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Read my complete review at http://crimescenereviews.com/book-review-double-spy-by-peter-van-wermeskerken/
Double Spy is an autobiographical account of a young Dutchman who, in his twenties, found himself approached by the STASI of East Germany to spy for them. Upon his return to the Netherlands, he went to the BVD (Dutch Intelligence Service) and told them everything. The upshot was that he ended up becoming a double spy.
Mr Wermeskerken’s story is told with humour, wit, and detail. Some of the writing style shows that English is not his first language, but for me this added authenticity and charm to this intriguing read. The author comes across as being down-to-earth, as well as self-confident and daring. Much of his story is around the cold war, and what life is like within a dictatorship.
If you like biographies, historical non-fiction, and/or spy stories, then you are likely to appreciate this book. Although there are some hiccups here and there within the narrative, they aren’t enough to detract from the enjoyment of the read. I offer Eight out of Ten stars using the TRB rating scale, which equates to Four out of Five stars using standard scales.
Van Wermeskerken tends to downplay the notion of impending doom, but for the average person, being locked up in an East German prison behind the Iron Curtain sounds like the next thing to falling into the abyss. His participation in correspondence chess led to his initial contact with the ‘other side’, and his lifelong friendship with his beloved Kathe. He also develops a strange relationship with Gudrun and Hermann, who provide him with a cover during his trips to East Germany. He is recruited by the Stasi to act as a spy in his native Netherlands, but is confronted by agents of the BVD (Dutch Secret Service) and turned into a double agent. The author describes the Communists as being inept and delusional as to their own capabilities (thinking themselves as the equivalent of Israel’s Mossad and the CIA). He is able to take advantage of that in convincing the Germans of his integrity over a three-year period that was the most unforgettable time of his life.
The author’s technique is reminiscent of In Cold Blood as an autobiographical account written in novel style. It allows Van Wermeskerken to provide his personal insights and inflect his sense of humor which lends intimacy to the narrative. There are also literary themes to be found, such as the romance and questions of loyalty and patriotism that resonate throughout the story. What most readers will find refreshing is the absence of political diatribe that often saturate works in this genre. Double Spy by Peter Van Wermeskerken is a unique insight into the world of espionage that you won’t want to miss.