In recent years, the British and American governments have declassified vast volumes of previously secret files. They have also taken a greater interest in public understanding, by assisting films, sponsoring official histories and permitting intelligence chiefs to write memoirs, thereby providing yet more research material for the booming field of intelligence studies. In his book review essay, I consider some of the more important new books on intelligence. They offer timely, realistic and balanced analyses and show that skilled research allows us to make conclusion about these secret organizations with greater confidence than we might have suspected. But they also show us that some of the key questions remain fiercely debated. Moreover, while more information about western intelligence agencies is welcome, it exacerbates a growing problem: we know more and more about a few famous services like the CIA, and comparatively less about intelligence services elsewhere in the world. The spies of the global South remain very much in the shadows.