Code Name: Lise; The True Story of the Woman Who Became WWII's Most Highly Decorated Spy

Gallery: S. & S. Feb. 2019. 384p. illus. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781501198656. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781501198670. BIOG
OrangeReviewStarLoftis (Into the Lion's Mouth) steps deeper into the spy games of World War II with this new work focusing on the highly decorated agent Odette Sansom (1912–95). The book begins with Sansom's childhood in France, her first marriage and relocation to London, and the birth of her three daughters. It then takes a sharp turn as Sansom leaves her children in England to join the war effort in France as a courier for the Special Operations Executive (SOE). We follow her journey from housewife to trained killer, as she embarks on dangerous missions and falls in love with her commanding officer; they're eventually captured and sent to concentration camps in Germany. The author doesn't shy away from delving into the complicated and conflicted characters occupying this story. That their experiences are all true makes the work even more gripping.
VERDICT Reading like a thrilling spy novel and the most exciting sort of nonfiction—well researched, well written, and fast paced enough to keep the pages turning—this will interest fans of the history of espionage, World War II history, military history, women's history, and biography.
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