The Spy

by Paulo Coelho

Books of the Month - <b>August</b> Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel eBooks of the Month Historical Fiction Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on The Spy

One of our Books of the Year 2016.

December 2016 MEGA Book of the Month.

A short, emotional and entirely captivating novel based on the real events that surrounded, enclosed and smothered the notorious Mata Hari. Mata Hari is a name that still evokes and conjures vivid images, this is a story that releases fact and weaves in fiction, until you're left with a concentrated, intense tragedy. The prologue introduces the end, a chillingly evocative photo followed by a news report, this may be a novel, but it doesn't feel like one, instead it feels as though reality is spilling from the pages. Several photos add an intensity to the already striking and memorable tale. By writing in letter form, Paulo Coelho allowed me to touch, to feel, to question, he made me look at Mata Hari as a woman rather than an exotic creature. ‘The Spy’ strips glamour, discards enchantment, yet there still remains an air of mystery about the fascinating Mata Hari, and I’m left with her still in my mind, I’m left wanting to know more. ~ Liz Robinson

Liz Robinson

The Spy Synopsis

When Mata Hari arrived in Paris she was penniless. Soon she was feted as the most elegant woman in the city. A dancer who shocked and delighted audiences; a confidant and courtesan who bewitched the era's richest and most powerful men. But as paranoia consumed a country at war, Mata Hari's lifestyle brought her under suspicion. Until, in 1917 she was arrested in her hotel room on the Champs Elysees and accused of espionage. Told through Mata's final letter, THE SPY tells the unforgettable story of a woman who dared to break the conventions of her time, and paid the price.

Win a signed copy of The Ghost Tree

Win a signed copy of The Ghost Tree

Closing date: 07/09/2018

Barbara Erskine's fabulous new book The Ghost Tree is out on the 23rd August. In order to celebrate we are giving away a SIGNED copy of the new book to THREE lucky winners!! The competiton closes on the 7th Septmber 2018. The winner will be informed by the 17th September 2018. The past is about to become the present... The inspiration for The Ghost Tree lies in Barbara Erskine's own personal history - branching back to the days of Thomas Erskine, her great grandfather, five times removed. Once again, the Sunday Times bestselling author brings the past to life in vivid, spellbinding colour. 

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The Spy Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Jennifer Stoddart - 'This is the first Coelho book I have read and it will not be my last. The Spy is a moving read, designed to illuminate the life of Mata Hari...compelling and insightful.'
  • Marjorie Lacy - 'This is a clever and well written book, the hardback edition is a pleasure to look at and to hold. I can recommend it to you.'
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'Boy, if you want to know how far society has come in recognising the right to equality of the sexes, this is the one for you...Powerful writing to inspire a belief that the world really is a fairer place.'
  • Lynda DeFreitas - 'Paulo Coelho has used his considerable skills as an author to dispel the myths and show Mata Hari in all her daring, naiveté and courage. This novel is well worth reading.'
  • Sarah Musk - 'A brilliant book about a shallow, delusional woman which begs the question - did she deserve to be executed or was she a victim of the paranoia of the times.'
  • Cathy Small - 'An enjoyable short story that many could relate to.'
  • Sue Burton - 'Enjoyable read and describes how different life was many years ago and how life has changed today.'
  • Humaira - 'this book was just phenomenal. I loved everything about it...Mata Hari is a character I will never forget.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'Told with compassion and honesty, this would make a great read for those nonfiction book readers out there and for anyone interested in great women of the past.'
  • Sheila Dale - 'I have not read Paulo Coelho and wanted to review this as it is completely outside my normal reading. Have to say I did not enjoy it at all.'

The Spy Press Reviews

The fascinating story of her life is . . . beautifully written and gripping.  Sunday Mirror

Coelho, whose books have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide, has taken the Mata Hara story and fashioned it into a short dynamo of a novel.   Los Angeles Times

A striking novel. . . . By the end, readers will believe they've read [Mata Hari's] actual letters.   Publisher's Weekly

Spiritualists and wanderlusts will eagerly devour . . . [Coelho's] search for all things meaningful.   Washington Post

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781786330543
Publication date: 22/11/2016
Publisher: Hutchinson an imprint of Cornerstone
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781786330543
Publication date: 22nd November 2016
Author: Paulo Coelho
Publisher: Hutchinson an imprint of Cornerstone
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 208 pages
Genres: Books of the Month, Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Reading Groups,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Historical fiction, Religious & spiritual fiction,

About Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho’s life remains the primary source of inspiration for his books. He has flirted with death, escaped madness, dallied with drugs, withstood torture, experimented with magic and alchemy, studied philosophy and religion, read voraciously, lost and recovered his faith and experienced the pain and pleasure of love. In searching for his own place in the world, he has discovered answers for the challenges that everyone faces. He believes that, within ourselves, we have the necessary strength to find our own destiny.His novel The Alchemist has sold more than 65 million copies and has been cited as an ...

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