Pindrop Press Home Page

The Quiet Spy
by Jane Salmons
£10 (pub. 2022)

Perhaps all spies are quiet. But perhaps few are as unassuming and humane as Frank Foley, a former British Secret Intelligence Service Officer from Somerset, who as a boy wanted to be a priest but ended up working undercover in Berlin where he helped 10,000 Jews to escape Nazi persecution before the outbreak of the Second World War. Drawing on archive material as well as personal letters and an understanding of the complex character of 1930s Berlin, Jane Salmons takes us through the life and times of this extraordinary figure, whose death in 1958 went almost unnoticed in Britain.

Praise for The Quiet Spy:

“What a wonder to discover the extraordinary life of Frank Foley through Jane Salmons’ vivid biography-in-verve. Captured in moving, lyrical detail, and with admirable depth, Foley's humanity and great courage shine from every page.”

Liz Berry


“The Quiet Spy is an extraordinary collection by an extraordinary talent. Jane Salmons brings to life a quiet hero, and a forgotten one, weaving with words threads of glimmering hope into one of history's darkest hours. This ugly era is tough to turn into poetry, but Salmons is a magician. She gives us language and images that shimmer like jewels, or stars, above hell.”

Lorette C. Luzajic


The Quiet Spy

Agent 1st Class joins the queue for departures.
In fluent German, he politely requests a first class
sleeper to Cologne. Small, clean-shaven,
the Tageblatt tucked under his arm, Agent 1st Class
doesn’t attract undue attention. Supposing
we open his portmanteau, there on the concourse,
will we find its hidden compartment? Alias passport,
fake beard and moustache, the bag of hollowed-out coins?
Agent 1st Class hauls his baggage up the steps to the train,
finds Schlafwagen A, settles down for the night.
As the hammering dark of the Rhineland wheels past,
Agent 1st Class dreams of a palace of glass,
documents signed in invisible ink, Prussian blue
uniform, epaulettes encrusted with diamonds.


Note: In July 1918, Foley joined the Army’s Intelligence Corps. After two months’ training at the Army’s ‘Spy School’ in Harrow-on-the-Hill, he spent a short time in France, before being posted to Cologne as an Officer ‘Agent 1st Class’, where his role was to monitor political and military activity on both extreme left and right.

It was during this period that Foley first became aware of the extent of anti-Semitism in Europe, particularly in relation to several thousand Belgian Jewish refugees, who had been forced out of their homes during the war. Many of them had been involved in the diamond trade.


(from The Quiet Spy)

The Quiet Spy

Delivery options (P&P included):




Copyright © 2016 Pindrop Press - All Rights Reserved



Home About Our Poets Bookshop Subnissions Contact