Aurum buys spy's story

Sam Harrison at Aurum has bought a biography of Cold War spy George Blake by journalist Roger Hermiston.

Harrison acquired UK and Commonwealth rights for a "significant" five figure sum from Andrew Gordon at David Higham Associates.

The book will be the first biography of Blake for 20 years and draws on "extensive" original interviews, telling the spy's tale from fighting the Nazis in the Dutch Resistance, to the Korean war, a trial at the Old Bailey and a jailbreak from Wormwood Scrubs.

Harrison called the book "a thrilling and revealing portrait" of the man, saying: "Blake was without doubt the most damaging traitor of the Cold War era, and his story reads like the plot of a Le Carré novel, but with the deadly merit of being true."

Aurum will publish in spring 2013.