katz uk


Nine lives
a spoilt Bohemian upbringing - a playboy in decadent 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 North and 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.

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
Saga Magazine

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
The Times

I'm thoroughly enjoying The Nine Lives of Otto Katz … it’s great and it’s good to read something that’s both well-written and well-researched
Guy Walters, author of Hunting Evil - The Telegraph

written with flamboyance and panache … this book contains plenty of colourful gossip
Irish Times

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
Irish Examiner

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

otto usa



He was a charming, handsome, high-rolling man named Otto Katz, and based on Jonathan Miles's well-written, deeply researched book, it is possible to identify Katz as an exemplary figure of 20th century life — an individual more or less self-cast in a role that did not exist until the vast tragedies of that era began to play themselves out after the rise of Hitler and Stalin … Miles's book is unique among accounts of that world — always clear-eyed about the tyranny Katz served, yet as sympathetic as it is possible to be to a man who eventually, predictably fell in this most dubious of battles
Richard Schickel - Los Angeles Times

Here we have biography at its readable best… Jonathan Miles deserves five cloaks and five daggers for the new information he brings to light.
Joseph C. Goulden – The Washington Times

This sexually magnetic thrill addict comes to vivid life in Jonathan Miles' deftly woven biography…his portrait of Katz is masterful.
Chicago Sun Times

A fascinating, true story of liars and dupes ... Katz, as this remarkable biography explains, was the quintessential showman … What a fascinating, expertly handled story this is.
Minneapolis Star Tribune

an engrossing, endearingly gossipy biography … fans of thriller writer Alan Furst will relish this book
Wall Street Journal

Miles makes [the Cold War’s] high stakes chillingly real in his account of the career of the complex Soviet agent, Otto Katz is a heart-pounding account.
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Beautifully written and above all well researched … A real triumph
Falcata Times

Jonathan Miles’ biography fills in the colorful details of this extraordinary agent of influence who figured prominently in the promotion of Communism in much of the Western world. In thanks, Stalin made sure Katz was rewarded with a trip to the gallows. The Nine Lives of Otto Katz is a stirring tale of dedicated service that reveals the realities of Soviet espionage.
CIA Review - The Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf

vies et mort d’un espion
Editions Denoël


Cette biographie menée comme un roman s’appuie sur un documentation exceptionelle

Jonathan Miles montre du savoir-faire dans l’enquȇte et de l’ardeur pour raconter ce James Bond Mitteleuropa
Le Nouvel Observateur

is published
The Czech Republic

 Paseka Publishers


The Nine Lives of Otto Katz 
will be published

in Russian by
The Kariera Press

Additional Information
Jonathan Miles in
The Wall Street Journal
Five Best Books:
On Espionage

Jonathan Miles
‘The Spy who Intrigued me’

The Sunday Times
July 11 2010

(paywall applies)