Eddie Chapman was handsome witty, and charming. He was also a con man, a womanizer, a thief-and the most remarkable double agent of the World War II. British military intelligence, MI5, called him ZigZag, and he proved to be one of their most valued agents. The Abwehr-German military intelligence-called him Fritzchen (Little Fritz), and counted him among their most trusted spies. For three long years, Chapman played a dangerous double game, risking life and limb to help the Allies win the war. This is his incredible story. Born into poverty, Chapman vowed early on not to live the miserable life his parents endured. At seventeen, he joined the prestigious Coldstream Guards but disliked the discipline. Cracking safes was much more fun-and lucrative. He quickly became so adept at it that the authorities assumed he had cracked a safe even when he hadn't. Feeling the heat, Eddie fled to the Channel Islands, where he continued to ply his trade until his crimes finally caught up with him. The police threw him in jail, where the Germans found him when they invaded the islands in 1940. Seizing this opportunity, Chapman offered his services to them. Reluctant at first, the Nazis-ever more in need of spies-tested him time and again to ensure that he wasn't double-crossing them. He passed with flying colors, and the Abwehr moved him to France, where they trained him in espionage, sabotage, and radio communications before dropping him back into Britain, late in 1942, with orders to blow up the De Havilland Aircraft factory, the source of the Mosquito bombers that were by now wreaking devastation across Germany. How Chapman and MI5 convinced the Abwehr that he had accomplished his mission stands as one of history's great acts of counterintelligence. Later, he also brilliantly misdirected German V2 rockets away from their targets in London and into the surrounding countryside, saving countless lives. Eddie Chapman's extraordinary story long remained untold, thwarted by the Official Secrets Act. But now all the records-including his MI5 file-have been released, paving the way for Booth's definitive, action-packed account of Chapman's tumultuous life. Book jacket.