Paddy Costello was New Zealand's most brilliant envoy.
He blew the whistle on Soviet possession of the atom bomb.
He was the first western diplomat to penetrate the Nazi death camps at the end of the war, and was General Fryberg's favourite intelligence officer.
Costello was a scholar, a soldier, a diplomat, an exemplary father, a maverick, and a lover of good wine.
But was he also a spy? As well as exploring the spy angle this is a compelling biography, an exploration of New Zealand foreign policy and involvement in European affairs from the 1930's to 1950's, an insight into the rise of Communist sympathies and the McCarthy backlash.
The book can be seen as a sequel of sorts to McNeish's Dance of the Peacocks: New Zealanders in Exile at the Time of Hitler and Mao Tse-tung.