No spy drama has ever matched The Sandbaggers, which featured a tiny, covert intelligence unit based in London during the Cold War. The show that the New York Times called the “best spy series in television history” was the vision of Ian MacKintosh, who was among the first writers to present espionage realistically—as a sordid series of political struggles, double crosses, and personality clashes.The Life and Mysterious Death of Ian MacKintosh provides a behind-the-scenes look at the show that forever changed the spy genre. Readers will also gain insight into the enigmatic and accomplished MacKintosh. A Royal Navy lieutenant commander, he spent part of his service at the Admiralty’s Department of Naval Intelligence, once one of the world’s ranking espionage operations. He retired early and penned thirteen books and a number of television series, including the classic Warship. A leading authority on aircraft, MacKintosh was also one of the youngest recipients of the Member of the Order of the British Empire, an honor one step below knighthood, for his still-classified exploits. His disappearance without a trace on July 7, 1979—nineteen days before his thirty-ninth birthday—while flying with two companions over the Gulf of Alaska (which happened to be teeming with Soviet submarines and other spycraft) remains a mystery, as the British government declined to investigate the incident. Robert Folsom takes readers inside the world of The Sandbaggers and Ian MacKintosh, whose ultimate fate is a plot twist worthy of his own trailblazing creations.