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Heaps, Leo.

Toronto, Methuen, c1983, 1985. 202pp, paper, $4.95, ISBN 0-458-98580-5.

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by J.D. Ingram

Volume 13 Number 2
1985 March

In December. 1982, a Canadian named Hugh Hambleton was found guilty in a British court of spying and sentenced to ten years in jail. Leo Heaps attempts to tell the story of Hambleton and the Soviet KGB.

The author, who wrote The Grey Goose of Arnhem,* knew the Hambleton family and is able to relate some details of their private life.

After World War II, Hambleton was introduced to a Vladimir Borodin and became enmeshed in providing information to the Soviets. During his employment with NATO, and by the end of 1959, he had signed out over eighty NATO documents and photographed several thousand. In the world of espionage, this spy, like others, practised the one complete truth: deceit. He felt the Soviet Union, having been an ally that suffered grievously in World War II, should have access to the information. In addition there was the attraction and grandeur of the KGB. Hambleton even went so far as to see himself as a "world power broker, capable of secretly shifting the balance of power between Russia and the West."

The author follows the travels and activities of Hambleton up to his trial and consequent incarceration. Despite Hambleton's apparent intellect and academic qualifications (readers may remember him being at Laval University when the public learned something of his activities), he still appears as an international innocent, whose complicity was nonetheless damaging to the West.

In this book, it is sometimes difficult to accept the validity of supposed conversations between Hambleton and his Soviet contacts. Did the prostitutes really pay no attention to the conversation at the Bal Tabarin in Paris? There is no index in this paperback edition, which can be annoying. Heaps does pose an interesting question: Why was Hambleton offered immunity in Canada? The Hambleton malversations merit no sympathy. The book is interesting but not consistently captivating.

J.D. Ingram, Gordon Bell H.S., Winnipeg, Man.

*Reviewed vol. Vl/3 1978 p.149.

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