PUBLISHED IN THE UK
PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE
A spoilt Bohemian upbringing - a playboy in 1920s Germany - spy training in Moscow - propaganda in Paris -infiltrating England, - a star-turn in Hollywood - dirty tricks during the Spanish Civil War - Communist insurgency in Latin America - and triumph and terror in Czechoslovakia.
The Nine Lives of Otto Katz
introduces a spy with a murderous smile along with an astonishing cast of characters which adds up to a Who’s-Who of European letters, Hollywood stars, notorious spies and double agents. Living through a time when people were forced to chose the lesser of two evils, Katz - scourge of Hitler, slave to Stalin – pushed and was pushed by a pack of lies.
UK / IRISH REVIEWS
'The Playboy Stalinist Otto Katz was surely one of the most alluring and unlikely of interwar Soviet spies. This irresistible biography exposes a man by turns showy and shadowy … Miles conjures the spy-game atmospherics of the era wonderfully. Using recently opened MI5 files, he tracks the intelligence service’s struggle to comprehend the man. Katz’s many aliases and pen names, his relentless globetrotting, and his strange — or was it skilful? — mixture of braggadocio and furtiveness made him an exceptionally hard target. To confuse matters still further, Katz’s life blurred deliciously into fiction.'
James Machonnachie - The Sunday Times
'Enthralling… This portrait has all the hallmarks of a thrilling detective story as Katz sets about coordinating his hydra-headed fronts for Soviet propaganda and profit… an intriguing story, atmospherically told.'
Alan Chadwick - Metro UK
'a fascinating, fast-moving and frequently witty portrait a man of such charisma and cunning … a definitive work'
Paula Adamick – The Canada Post
'As a true-life action thriller, shot through with the glitz of Hollywood high-life and the gravity of international high politics, Miles gives an intriguing insight into the motives and methods of a ruthless player in the great game of espionage.'
'rivetting … a fascinating introduction to the forces operating under the surface when Europe was at a crucial turning point'
Herald - Scotland
'Spies should be glamorous … In those terms Otto Katz was perfect … Miles uncovers the secret worlds of a secret agent'
'written with flamboyance and panache'
'the effect is often one of spying upon and shadowing Katz, following him around the world , watching him work and mingle … Miles’s skill as a writer is such that the necessity for scholarly discipline rarely threatens the saga … Miles’s love of the novel shines through in his playful and engaging prose. … this is very much a case of a film waiting to happen, the fly-on-the-wall descriptions and evocative asides arranging themselves effortlessly in the imagination. … This is a yarn so good you couldn’t make it up'
'Jonathan Miles’s riveting new biography … a film ought to be made of Katz’s life but who could possibly play such an outlandish character.'
Mail on Sunday
A pitch for a
Film / Television mini-series
based on the book
The Nine Lives of Otto Katz
THE SOHO AGENCY