Thistle Publishing Home News Authors About Books

Spymaster: The Secret Life of Kendrick

Spymaster charts the extraordinary life of one of MI6’s most senior officers in the 20th century. Thomas Joseph Kendrick was placed at the heart of Europe’s espionage hub – Vienna. There he crossed paths with the infamous Kim Philby and Edith Tudor-Hart, figures that would later rock the core of MI6.

After Hitler’s annexed Austria in March 1938, Kendrick was swamped by a human catastrophe of unparalleled proportions and worked to save over 200 Austrian Jews a day. But another dangerous game was afoot. Dubbed “the elusive Englishman” by Hitler’s Secret Service, Kendrick’s real identity eluded the Abwehr for over a year, until finally, a double agent denounced him.

He was unceremoniously thrown out of Austria, returned to Britain and disappeared from public view, but not from the ranks of the British Secret Service. He re-emerged during the Second World War to become MI6’s spymaster in chief against Nazi Germany.

This is a story of betrayal, steely nerve and daring, but out of the shadows of MI6 secrecy, his full story emerges for the very first time.


"An exhaustively-researched book on a man whose life cried out for an autobiography... an extremely valuable contribution to our understanding of a secret world."

The Guardian

"This fascinating story is all that one has come to expect of any book by Helen; well researched and above all interesting. One has to wonder what she will dig up next."

Journal of the Intelligence Corps

"A gripping, story well told."

Journal of the Association of Jewish Refugees

"The author has a very easy style and the reference to Kim Philby and Edith Tudor-Hart are intriguing. This book should be read in conjunction with the author’s book The M Room. Overall a fascinating and enjoyable book."

ARRSE (Army Rumour Service)

Helen Fry Buy