The Last Goodnight: A World War II Story of Espionage, Adventure, and Betrayal

Howard Blum. Harper, $28.99 (528p) ISBN 978-0-06-230767-5
Passion fuels the missions of WWII secret agent “Cynthia,” aka Betty Pack (1910–1963), in this scrupulously researched profile of the “blonde Bond” from Vanity Fair contributing editor Blum (Dark Invasion). Taking advantage of access to newly declassified material, Blum leaves little to the imagination. Pack, née Thorpe, grew up in Washington, D.C., and an early marriage to an English civil servant led to an unexpected career as an MI6 agent when the couple was posted overseas. Having seduced her way through Spain during its Civil War and Warsaw on the eve of WWII, an assignment to infiltrate the embassy of Vichy France sent her into the arms of husband number two. The book opens in 1960s France, with Pack—as Mme. Brousse—reconnecting with fellow operative H.M. Hyde after a two-decade hiatus, igniting old sparks. Hyde serves as the willing confidant to whom she recounts her life story, which Blum presents in seven parts, each featuring a different romance. Though barely known today, Pack’s undercover work changed the course of the war in favor of the Allied troops. Details of her early life seem superfluous, but Blum successfully delineates the social forces in play at the time and conveys the irresistible magnetism that turned a young woman into a world-class spy. Photos. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/22/2016
Release date: 04/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-244491-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-5046-9720-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-5047-3098-3
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4676-2748-1
Paperback - 528 pages - 978-0-06-230780-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-5046-9721-7
Ebook - 528 pages - 978-0-06-230779-8
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