For anyone completely new to the story of Kim Philby’s MI6 career and treachery, Milne’s account does not fully cover the ground of the main events. But if you already know the main features of the case, then Milne’s account is an enjoyable way of filling in new details and getting an extra perspective, including the regular uncertainty which many people had over exactly what the truth was about events.
Likewise, Milne’s account of life in the 1930s and 1940s by no means makes for a full introduction to that era, but if you already have some knowledge of them then Milne’s recollections add some extra colour through, in particular, his accounts of travelling Europe with Philby.
The book takes quite a few digressions into matters of details that are there because Milne wants to correct what other authors have written rather than because they are important to understanding Kim Philby or KGB espionage. So don’t make this the first or second book you read about Kim Philby. But if you’ve already ready a couple and want to know more, then this is is a good one to turn to next.
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Note: a review copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher.