Thinking back to bonfire night 1991 I think everyone who had any interest in commerce knew that Robert Maxwell’s businesses were in trouble. It was an open secret. So when I heard he had gone missing from his yacht when I was driving home from Chester that evening I won’t have been alone in wondering if he fell or if he jumped. This book, "The Assassination of Robert Maxwell, Israel’s Superspy", goes a lot further than that, by adding a third option into the equation. Could he have been murdered and thrown off, as it is suggested here. And who would have done such a thing?
The man had enemies under every stone, and mighty powerful ones at that. During his life he had worked for more than one intelligence agency, and had quite likely annoyed them beyond belief, and several others too.
FBI, CIA, MOSSAD, MI5, MI6 and the KGB were all interested in him, and in a big way. This book suggests that he was trying to squeeze money out of anyone who would listen, and that would be no surprise, even including intelligence agencies, to prop up his ailing empire, and was murdered because some people simply didn’t want to pay up.
Whatever you think of the idea, it’s a well-written book (by Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon) and there is a lot here too, 448 pages and small print too, to cram in more detail. I found most of the info here easily enough on the Internet, though whether those people got it from this book, or the other way around, is a moot point.
And that brings me to the proofreading, which surely could have been done better, lots of typos and misspellings, and indeed if an indie book was put out in the same manner people would jump on it and moan and groan about indie books letting themselves down again.
Was I convinced by the premise about Robert Maxwell’s assassination? Not entirely, would be the clear answer to that. Did I enjoy the book? Yes, I did, and I would say that anyone who has an interest in the way corporate business was or is done would find this of interest too, and if you happen to have an interest in newspaper publishing, or security services, or even WWII, then I am sure there would be something here to keep you glued too.
In places this book reads like a novel, a glossy thriller maybe, though whether the proposed outcome for the ill-fated Mister Maxwell was fact or fiction I would suggest that no one really knows. In any event, I will leave you to decide.
When I last looked this book could be bought for one pence; I kid you not, plus p&p, and that is a good deal in anyone’s language, especially as it was originally published at £18.95. Give it a try.