The New York Times best-selling author of the acclaimed Dark Invasion channels Erik Larson and Ben Macintyre in this riveting biography of Betty Pack, the dazzling American debutante who became an Allied spy during WWII and was hailed by OSS chief general "Wild Bill" Donovan as "the greatest unsung heroine of the war".
Betty Pack was charming, beautiful, and intelligent - and she knew it. As an agent for Britain's MI6 and then America's OSS during World War II, these qualities proved crucial to her success.
This is the remarkable story of this "Mata Hari from Minnesota" (Time) and the passions that ruled her tempestuous life - a life filled with dangerous liaisons and death-defying missions vital to the Allied victory.
For decades much of Betty's career working for MI6 and the OSS remained classified. Through access to recently unclassified files, Howard Blum discovers the truth about the attractive blond, codenamed "Cynthia", who seduced diplomats and military attachés across the globe in exchange for ciphers and secrets; cracked embassy safes to steal codes; and obtained the Polish notebooks that proved key to Alan Turing's success with Operation Ultra.
Beneath Betty's cool, professional determination, Blum reveals a troubled woman conflicted by the very traits that made her successful: her lack of deep emotional connections and her readiness to risk everything. The Last Goodnight is a mesmerizing, provocative, and moving portrait of an exceptional heroine whose undaunted courage helped to save the world.
©2016 Howard Blum (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
The book is a biography compiled of interviews and letters making it difficult to connect with the characters.
This book tells the story of an American socialite who began to spy for the British before they even declared war on Germany in 1939. She was a complicated woman who did not hesitate to abandon both her children or to cheat on the British diplomat husband. At the same time, she used her beauty, charm and intelligence to help the British clandestinely in a cause she truly believed in, risking her life and willing to do anything to achieve her goal. Everything about this book is good. I had previously known about some of the wartime events referred to in this narrative but was surprised to learn that she had had a strong hand in helping the allies achieve success. I strongly recommend this book.
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