Alistair Wood

Alistair Wood


As one of the only members of his family not to have been employed by the Secret Intelligence Service, Alistair Wood has enjoyed a reassuringly respectable (and successful) career in advertising, working in the UK, US, Korea, and South-East Asia. He lives in London.

Billed as ‘part memoir of a unique childhood and part investigation into the singular life of his father, MI6 spy J B Wood’ his My Family & Other Spies was sold to Michael Joseph at auction in 2024. It will be published in 2025.

Alistair Wood

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My Family & Other Spies by Alistair Wood

To war-weary Bosnians the octogenarian J B Wood cut a heroic figure, his tireless humanitarian work admired by all sides in the recent conflict and his death 'in the field' at eighty-two marked by an impressive marble tomb.

But his various wives and offspring could tell a rather different story. So too could Harold Shergold, former head of the Secret Intelligence Service’s (SIS) anti-Soviet operations and 'by a long way the most important and influential officer of the post-war period'. Shergold was curious to know what his former colleague had been doing in the forty years since his summary expulsion from the Service (still classified to this day). More importantly, for whom.

Who better to establish the truth, Shergold concluded, than J B Wood's own son? After all, I knew what I would be letting himself in for: almost my entire family had at one time or another been with SIS, my mother one of only a handful of female agents to have operated behind the lines in Berlin - and, goodness knows, even my own brother had been kidnapped by my father. But more especially I had grown up within the four (very high) walls of SIS's specialist training camp, surrounded by some of the most senior - and colourful - characters in the Service’s history.

My Family & Other Spies is more than just a memoir of an improbably unique childhood, or my various family members' adventures. It is an insider's exploration of the life - or lives - of one of SIS's more unlikely, if highly regarded, officers. And, in an admittedly crowded field, one of its most duplicitous.

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    by Alistair Wood

      My Family & Other Spies