A fascinating investigation into one of the remaining mysteries of WW2 – who betrayed PROSPER, the largest SOE network in France?

In 2000 Patrick Marnham published an acclaimed biography of Jean Moulin, de Gaulle’s delegated leader of the French Resistance. Sometime later he received an anonymous letter from a person who claimed to have worked for British Intelligence during the war, who informed him that while he had got close to the truth about Moulin’s betrayal, he had not found the real ‘treasure’. 

  Thus began a one-sided correspondence that drew Marnham back into the past, to the early 1960s when he had learnt French at the chateau of the mercurial Anne-Marie de Bernard who had been in the Resistance and whose SOE network was broken on the same day Moulin was arrested. Could these two events have been connected? His anonymous correspondent seemed to think they were and offered a set of tantalising clues. 

 Using a knowledge of France gained from 12 years as a Paris correspondent, together with original research in archives in England and France, Marnham set out to discover the truth about the betrayal of his tutor and friend, who had endured 18 months in Ravensbrück concentration camp. Following a trail leading from London through wartime Europe to rank and file Resistance in lost corners of France, and back again, he unravels the story of a complex deception operation, seeking the key that could explain the death of Jean Moulin.  

 Part quest, part spy story, WAR IN THE SHADOWS reveals the truth about the pitilessness of war and the ruthless double-dealing involving British, French, American and Russian intelligence services in one of the darkest periods of the Second World War. Full of twists and turns, it is a story worthy of John Le Carré, but with this difference – it’s not fiction.  

 PATRICK MARNHAM is a biographer, reporter and screenwriter. His biographies have covered subjects as diverse as Diego Rivera, Georges Simenon, Jean Moulin and Mary Wesley. He was a BBC script writer, Literary Editor of the Spectator and for 12 years Paris correspondent of the Independent and the Evening Standard. He lives near Oxford.  

‘A melange of Le Grand Meaulnes and The Spy who Came in from the Cold …unforgettable.’  TLS  BOOK OF THE YEAR  

‘Beautifully written, minutely observed… in every sense of the word an intriguing book.’ THE TIMES 

'A masterly analysis, impeccably presented’ SPECTATOR 

'An incredible story brilliantly told. Marnham has created an utterly gripping story of wartime espionage, deception, double-crossing and terrible betrayal that drew me in from the outset. A stunning work of investigation, research and scholarship. I honestly think this is the best book I have ever read about the SOE in France.'  JAMES HOLLAND 
'A brilliant and revelatory work of modern historical investigation, throwing new light on the French Resistance and the complex world of secret intelligence. Written with remarkable insight, understanding and empathy – a triumph.'   WILLIAM BOYD