A prisoner of the German army in France, Richard Temple is nobody’s idea of a hero. To stay sane while denying the charges and absorbing the beatings of his captors, he conducts a minute examination of his life. Temple escaped from a blighted childhood and his alcoholic mother thanks to an artistic gift. But his life as a painter in 1930s London was cruelly deprived. To eat, he became a forger. He was rescued by the love of a wealthy woman, and the failure of that relationship coupled with the outbreak of war propelled him into the world of espionage.
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