The Library Journal Review of The Last Goodnight.

VERDICT Skillfully researched and entertainingly written, Blum’s narrative will appeal to both military buffs and those fascinated with the world of espionage.

Journalist Blum (Dark Invasion) delivers a provocative biography of glamorous debutante Betty Pack (1910–63), a Minnesota native who became an extraordinary Allied spy during World War II. At 19, Pack (née Thorpe) married a British diplomat many years her senior. Although the match proved unhappy, it afforded the adventurous Pack the opportunity to travel the world. It was during a posting in Madrid that she first became involved in spycraft. In the dangerous days leading up to the Spanish Civil War, Pack used her persuasive charms to ascertain the location of a politically imprisoned paramour and secure his release. Her resourceful behavior did not go unnoticed; Pack was recruited by Britain’s MI6 to become a covert operative and was involved in missions that included securing material that helped decipher the German Enigma machine. Blum successfully demonstrates how the intelligence gathered during Pack’s clandestine career directly aided Allied victory. Using recently unclassified files, the author provides an exhilarating rendering of this courageous female agent, while Mary Lovell’s Cast No Shadow imparts a more conventional review of Pack’s life. VERDICT Skillfully researched and entertainingly written, Blum’s narrative will appeal to both military buffs and those fascinated with the world of espionage.

Mary Jennings, Camano Island Lib., WA

 

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