The Confidence Men
Imprisoned in a remote Turkish POW camp during the First World War, two British officers, Harry Jones and Cedric Hill, cunningly join forces. To stave off boredom, Jones makes a handmade Ouija board and holds fake seances for fellow prisoners. One day, an Ottoman official approaches him with a query: could Jones contact the spirits to find a vast treasure rumoured to be buried nearby? Jones, a lawyer, and Hill, a magician, use the Ouija board – and their keen understanding of the psychology of deception-to build a trap for their captors that will lead them to freedom.
The Confidence Men is a nonfiction thriller featuring strategy, mortal danger and even high farce – and chronicles a profound but unlikely friendship.
Fox, a former senior obituary writer for The New York Times and the author of three previous books, unspools Jones and Hill's delightfully elaborate scheme in nail-biting episodes that advance like a narrative Rube Goldberg machine, gradually leading from Yozgad to freedom by way of secret codes, a hidden camera, buried clues, fake suicides and a lot of ingenious mumbo jumbo. At moments, The Confidence Men has the high gloss of a story polished through years of telling and retelling. * The New York Times * Exceptionally entertaining ... [Fox] never loosened her grip on my attention * Washington Post * The Confidence Men couldn't have come along at a better time. This story of two unlikely con artists - young British officers who use a Ouija board to escape from a Turkish prisoner-of-war camp - is a true delight, guaranteed to lift the spirits of anyone eager to forget today's realities and lose oneself in a beautifully written tale of an exciting and deeply moving real-life caper. -- Lynne Olson, author of Madame Fourcade's Secret War A true account of one of the most daring and implausible examples of wartime cunning by British soldiers. * Daily Express * Margalit Fox is one of the premier narrative storytellers we have today, and The Confidence Men is a wonderfully entertaining brew of history, thrills, and ingenuity, one that highlights the rare occasion when con artistry is employed for the greater public good. -- Sarah Weinman, author of The Real Lolita and editor of Unspeakable Acts: True Tales of Crime, Murder, Deceit & Obsession A whopper of a World War 1 tale ... simply the most entertaining military history I have read in years * HistoryNet * Rarely has a means of escape seemed as unlikely as a handmade Oujia board and a fake seance ... Margalit Fox's book explores how the men used psychology to dupe camp staff over many months - and how it nearly cost them their mental health and physical safety * BBC History Magazine * Wonderfully researched and written * Who Do You Think You Are? * It's an awesome book made even more valuable by such outstanding research and insight. * Britain at War Magazine * The story is incredible ... this is a great read * NB Reviews *
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