1917 - 2005. Also wrote under the pseudonyms Richard Butler and Patrick Kelly.
Ted Allbeury was a lieutenant-colonel in the Intelligence Corps during World War II, and later a successful executive in the fields of marketing, advertising and radio. He began his writing career in the early 1970s and became well known for his espionage novels, but also published one highly-praised general novel, THE CHOICE, and a short story collection, OTHER KINDS OF TREASON. His novels have been published in twenty-three languages, including Russian. He died on 4th December 2005.
Odd coincidence - I bought this a while ago and only started reading it recently. And on the same day all the reviews came out of the new Ben Macintyre book on Philby. It's an interesting contrast because Allbeury was speculating and producing fiction and his story is rather more intriguing than the facts. They say "Fact is stranger than fiction" - but it ain't always so! Allbeury (an ex secret service agent himself) paints a sympathetic picture in which Philby wasn't a double agent - but a triple agent. The British were always aware of his treachery and were prepared to sustain the damage he did in order to maintain Philby at the heart of the KGB. Well, turns out to all be hogwash....but an entertaining book none the less!
Something about Kim Philby has fascinated generations of spy writers. From inspiring the mole Gerald in John le Carre's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy to Frederik Forsyth's The Fourth Protocol to appearing in Robert Littell's The Company and Young Philby, the infamous British traitor has reared his head time and again. Few writers perhaps captured the air of distrust and enigma around him as Ted Allbeury, the former British intelligence operative turned novelist, in his 1981 The Other Side of Silence.
The subject of Kim Philby is fascinating and the plot of Philby becoming a Russian recruit under the planning of SIS, and then serving both sides the way he saw fit, is ingenious. It starts with Philby wanting to go back to England at the end of his life. Many interesting facts that I have not been aware of - and did constantly verify online. But the the book flow is confusing and sometimes seems broken.
A thoughtful thriller. Its basis in well reported real events could easily be true - great faction. So well written it makes what could be a very dull subject most interesting; whilst shedding potential light on the processes and 'chess playing' behaviour that goes on in that netherworld.
I came to discover Ted Allbeury quite late, and as a junkie of espionage novels I felt this was a shame so I'm trying to catch up. Ted Allbeury was an extremely prolific writer, he produced an incredibly high number of novels, he came to writing up to 3-4 books a year and he had to adopt two aka's to help carry the weight of such vast production. In the end, Allbeury's work was buried under such over-production, which I’m still digging into to find the good, the bad and the ugly. So far I stumbled into a couple of good (The Twelfth Day In January, The Crossing and Shadow Of A Doubt) and even a very good (Seeds Of Treason, in my view the best of Allbeury works), while you can skip most of the rest without losing much. The Other Side Of Silence is actually two books in one: the first is about the intrigues that Philly's message of wanting to come back home unleash within the British intelligence world; this is mainly fiction - though against an historical backdrop - and it is pretty good fiction. The other, the chapters in italic, are about Philby's life until his defection; this is a mix of fiction and real events, and is much less engrossing than the previous part. And this is not because history is less fun than fiction, but because the such historical background is just not very insightful. In any case, the author plays around quite skilfully with the ambiguity of a certain era, of certain environments, the ambiguity which permeated Philby’s life and relationships. Allbeury effectively re-writes Philby's life, still one of the most controversial post-war intelligence affairs, by filling many of the gaps and grey areas still remaining, and depicts quite well all the intrigues triggered his possible return.