36: Michael Smith – No Man Dies Twice

Former Intelligence Officer and Journalist Michael Smith talks to Spybrary about his debut fiction novel No Man Dies Twice.


No Man Dies Twice
No Man Dies Twice – Michael Smith's debut fictional novel

English journalist Michael Smith (Killer Elite and Foley the Spy Who Saved 10,000 Jews) has penned his first ever fiction novel. On this our 36th episode of the Spybrary Spy Podcast, host Shane Whaley talks to Smith about his new book No Man Dies Twice, what jobs he carried out working for British Intelligence, what he did at the BBC Monitoring Service and what spy fiction he enjoys reading today. Plus Much More!

One spy has been sent to assassinate Hitler. One spy has been sent to stop him. A single policeman is all that stands in the way of changing history.

Set in Nazi Germany during World War 2, No Man Dies Twice follows a hard working detective (Ritter) who investigates a murder in the small Bavarian town of Rosenheim. The death is no ordinary killing and Ritter is determined to get to the bottom of it despite the local Gestapo efforts to stop him.

With evidence showing the body belonged to a member of the White Rose resistance movement this is no ordinary murder. Ritter is no supporter of the Nazi regime and risks his life to investigate the case.

Riveting…Smith takes us into an area of wartime Germany we have rarely read about before.
—Joseph Heywood, New York Times bestselling author of The Berkut and The Domino Conspiracy

So has Spybrary started interviewing crime authors now?

Not at all, No Man Dies Twice is inspired by records Michael Smith unearthed at the National Archives back in the 90s. The files concerned Operation Foxley – a British SOE (special forces) plot to assassinate the Fuhrer. Detailed preparations were made but the audacious plan was not carried out. But what if the British had sent someone to kill Hitler?

Read No Man Dies Twice to find out what Smith thinks might have happened. …Intrigued. You should be.

A powerful debut full of fear, suspense, violence and geopolitical machinations…Michael Smith explores turf reminiscent of the historical fiction of Alan Furst and Joseph Kanon.” —Sebastian Rotella, author of Rip Crew 

Smith who once listened in to East German Military Officers and Socialist Party officials, not to mention deliver intelligence to the British SAS as part of his day job has mixed together a heady cocktail of spies, detectives, mystery, crime, Gestapo, British Intelligence. No Man Dies Twice is Spybrary approved and recommended!

On Episode 36 of the Spybrary Spy Podcast Michael Smith reveals:

  • How declassified National Archive files gave him the inspiration to write No Man Dies Twice
  • More about his main character – hard working detective Peter Ritter
  • More about the White Rose Resistance movement
  • Why he chose Rosenheim for the main location of his book
  • Despite being kicked out of school at 15, he went on to served in the Intelligence Corps learning several languages (is he really Bernard Samson?) and became a journalist for national British newspapers.
  • Which spy thriller writer he reckons gets it close to the real thing, surprise, its not John le Carre!
  • Advice for new writers. Michael Smith shares with us why he thinks creative writing courses can be good for new writers and should not be dismissed!

And Much Much More!

Publishers Weekly Review of No Man Dies Twice

No Man Dies Twice – Diversion Books


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More Resources

Michael Smith Author Official Website
Michael Smith on Twitter
No Man Dies Twice – Michael Smith
Michael Smith Amazon Author Page
Foley The Spy Who Saved 10,000 Jews – Michael Smith
Killer Elite – Michael Smith
The Secret Agents Bedside Reader – Michael Smith
White Rose The Germans Who Tried to Topple Hitler (BBC)
The Town of Rosenheim Tourist Guide
Stoner – John Williams
Operation Foxley
Opihr Gin


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2 Responses
  1. Tim Bushell

    Will be tackling this soon – I loved the Rouge Male film, and the White Rose, etc., etc., in part due to reading Hans Fallada and the recent late Philip Kerr. So there is space for a new author as David Dowwning has moved to WWI, so please fill the gap… …