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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Agent Jack

Agent Jack

The True Story of MI5's Secret Nazi Hunter

Robert Hutton

St. Martin's Press

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The never-before-told story of Eric Roberts, who infiltrated a network of Nazi sympathizers in Great Britain in order to protect the country from the grips of fascism


June 1940: Europe has fallen to Adolf Hitler’s army, and Britain is his next target. Winston Churchill exhorts the country to resist the Nazis, and the nation seems to rally behind him. But in secret, some British citizens are plotting to hasten an invasion. Agent Jack tells the incredible true story of Eric Roberts, a seemingly inconsequential bank clerk who, in the guise of “Jack King”, helped uncover and neutralize the invisible threat of fascism on British shores. Gifted with an extraordinary ability to make people trust him, Eric Roberts penetrated the Communist Party and the British Union of Fascists before playing his greatest role for MI5: Hitler's man in London. Pretending to be an agent of the Gestapo, Roberts single-handedly built a network of hundreds of British Nazi sympathizers—factory workers, office clerks, shopkeepers —who shared their secrets with him. It was work so secret and so sensitive that it was kept out of the reports MI5 sent to Winston Churchill.

In a gripping real-world thriller, Robert Hutton tells the fascinating story of an operation whose existence has only recently come to light with the opening of MI5’s WWII files. Drawing on these newly declassified documents and private family archives, Agent Jack shatters the comforting notion that Britain could never have succumbed to fasci… More…

The never-before-told story of Eric Roberts, who infiltrated a network of Nazi sympathizers in Great Britain in order to protect the country from the grips of fascism


June 1940: Europe has fallen to Adolf Hitler’s army, and Britain is his next target. Winston Churchill exhorts the country to resist the Nazis, and the nation seems to rally behind him. But in secret, some British citizens are plotting to hasten an invasion. Agent Jack tells the incredible true story of Eric Roberts, a seemingly inconsequential bank clerk who, in the guise of “Jack King”, helped uncover and neutralize the invisible threat of fascism on British shores. Gifted with an extraordinary ability to make people trust him, Eric Roberts penetrated the Communist Party and the British Union of Fascists before playing his greatest role for MI5: Hitler's man in London. Pretending to be an agent of the Gestapo, Roberts single-handedly built a network of hundreds of British Nazi sympathizers—factory workers, office clerks, shopkeepers —who shared their secrets with him. It was work so secret and so sensitive that it was kept out of the reports MI5 sent to Winston Churchill.

In a gripping real-world thriller, Robert Hutton tells the fascinating story of an operation whose existence has only recently come to light with the opening of MI5’s WWII files. Drawing on these newly declassified documents and private family archives, Agent Jack shatters the comforting notion that Britain could never have succumbed to fascism and, consequently, that the world could never have fallen to Hitler. Agent Jack is the story of one man who loved his country so much that he risked everything to stand against a rising tide of hate.

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Praise for Agent Jack

"Robert Hutton has written a well-researched, highly readable account of Roberts's strange undercover life." —Ben Macintyre, The Times

"Eye-opening from start to finish. Pacy, original and frequently chilling, Hutton offers a fascinating new take on the story of the Home Front."—Henry Hemming, author of M: Maxwell Knight, MI5's Greatest Spymaster

"Robert Hutton's deeply researched, often astounding book describes how a loose network of homegrown fascists plotted to undermine wartime Britain, and explains the ingenious way MI5 attempted to neutralise them ... Hutton includes transcripts of eavesdropped conversations with these fanatics that would make your hair stand on end." —Anthony Quinn, Guardian

Reviews from Goodreads

Robert Hutton

Robert Hutton has been Bloomberg’s UK Political Correspondent since 2004. Before that he was a reporter on the Daily Mirror, and before that he built robots and taught computers to play Bridge at Edinburgh University. He’s married with two sons, and lives in South East London.

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Sophie Hutton-Squire

St. Martin's Press

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