• The Last Goodnight

  • A World War II Story of Espionage, Adventure, and Betrayal
  • By: Howard Blum
  • Narrated by: Tristan Morris
  • Length: 14 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 04-12-16
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: HarperAudio
  • 4 out of 5 stars (112 ratings)

Regular price: $31.93

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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Hard to get into

The book is a biography compiled of interviews and letters making it difficult to connect with the characters.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

A disappointment

Normally, I love any book describing events from history; however, this character seems to have NO character. I didn't like the protagonist at all. The story was bland and hard to follow. A real disappointment

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not worth reading

Monotone narration.
Author refers to characters sometimes as first name, sometimes last, sometimes nicknames-- very confusing.
Boring

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Misleading to compare to Erik Larsen

Story reads like a list of facts cut and pasted together with Betty as the fragile thread that holds them together. The reading has more in common with a newspaper report than a spy novel. Exciting? No. Suspenseful? No. Factual? Probably. Disappointing? Oh yes!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rosemary
  • Greenwich, CT, United States
  • 06-19-18

Superb history, Suspense. Couldn’t stop!

This book is a winner! Amazing courage of a strange and churning soul who served the Anglo American cause so well and faithfully.. heart stopping descriptions and drama. The kind of book where you don’t turn off your car in the driveway because you want hours more of the story! Narrator is very good but atrocious French pronunciation, British pronunciation is off too. Audible needs to vet these recordings before they go out.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Hero with a complex life

What did you love best about The Last Goodnight?

What a fascinating story, full of intrigue. As I was reading it was difficult not to alternate between loving and hating Ms. Pack. Read (or listen to) this book because it is an important, mostly untold story of the heroics that went on "behind the scenes" before and during WWII. It describes how people's lives were changed, guided, and sometimes destroyed by the bigger events altering their history.

Ms. Pack is a complicated woman. Some of her decisions and their consequences for those around her can anger the reader, but her life is a reminder we all have our flaws, and sometimes make turns others can judge on our path through life. But in the end, as the song goes, she can say, "I did it my way." She saved countless lives with her ingenuity and heroics. It is often the people we affected without ever having seen them we must remember.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great Espionage Novel

Spellbinding tale of a real life unsung heroine who succeeded in life as a beguiling spy.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

pretty good!

It was good, helped pass the time while I was driving! Some of the introspection of her motivations for launching into her affairs was a bit unrealistic, but I enjoyed it overall.

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  • gh
  • 11-13-16

interesting spy story

couldn't wait to hear more each day, found it compelling to see how it ended