Spotlight on Burned by Sue Dobson


Congratulations to Sue Dobson and Vine Leaves Press on the release of Burned: The Spy South Africa Never Caught, “An unflinching memoir of a spy during a tumultuous time and unsavory alliances."

Burned: The Spy South Africa Never Caught by Sue Dobson

NEW RELEASE: May 16, 2023
Genre: Military Intelligence & Spies History, Intelligence & Espionage, Espionage True Accounts
From $6.49  

From the snowy Soviet shooting range to the heat and dust of Africa, nothing is what it seems. And neither is Sue Dobson.

The image of South Africa in the 1980s as the golden paradise on the tip of the African continent conceals a brutal, racist Apartheid regime. Those who oppose it risk their lives. Beauty and brutality go hand in hand.

Sue Dobson, a young white South African woman lives a 'legend'—a life where she pretends to conform, moving easily through the echelons of the racist government in her work as a journalist, whilst concealing her espionage and military training in the Soviet Union, and her intelligence work for the banned African National Congress.

Matters come to a head when sinister forces try to derail the Namibian independence process and Sue's cover is blown during a difficult honey trap operation, bringing the Cold War to Africa, and leading to her desperate flight across Southern Africa with the Apartheid security police snapping at her heels.
Praise for Burned

★★★★★ “An unflinching memoir of a spy during a tumultuous time and unsavory alliances. Dobson recounts her recruitment, training, and espionage with rare self-awareness.” ~Henry R. Schlesinger, author of Honey Trapped

About the Author
Sue Dobson was born in South Africa and witnessed Apartheid firsthand. Wanting to contribute to a democratic South Africa for all, she joined the African National Congress (ANC) and was trained as an intelligence officer/spy in the Soviet Union. She was deployed in South Africa and infiltrated the government propaganda department, interviewed Apartheid ministers, and had a honey trap affair with a police chief involved with the Namibian independence process. She was "burned" when she failed an enhanced security check for the State President's office, prompting her escape across southern Africa with the security police at her heels.
About the Publisher
Vine Leaves Press likes to blur the line between commercial and experimental works. They publish book-length vignette collections, writing reference books, short story collections, memoir/autobiography, and character-driven novels with a literary bent.​ Subscribe to the Vine Leaves Press newsletter to receive FREE advanced review copies of upcoming new releases, news about their authors and subscribers, and/or to read the monthly opinion column, SPILL IT! or a daily dose of 50-word stories. Learn more at

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