Wednesday, October 19, 2016

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


Today's post is on The Last Goodnight: A World War II Story of Espionage, Adventure, and Betrayal by Howard Blum. It is 544 pages long and is published by HarperCollins. The cover is like a folder with a picture of Betty, the spy, and marked secret in red at the top. The intended reader is someone who likes WW2 stories, spies, and well researched information. There is foul language, sex, and violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- The New York Times bestselling 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 MI-6 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 MI-6 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 attach├ęs 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.

Review- An interesting look about a woman who helped win the second world war. The book covers all aspects of Betty's life from childhood to her death of cancer. The story is broken up as it is being told to Harford Hyde. He was looking for a way to make some money and Betty wanted to understand herself and her life. They met briefly during the war and just never forgot about each other. Together they lay out Betty's life before, during, and after her spy work in WW2. Betty was charming, beautiful, and totally committed to the cause of saving lives and ending the war. But she was also cold, cunning, and did not care about anything else but her cause. She lived for it and it alone. All the lover she took in life were nothing to her cause and drive. At the end of her life, she wanted to understand herself and I think that we get to understand her too.

I give this books a Four out of Five stars. I was given this book by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.