• 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
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (155 ratings)

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The Last Goodnight  By  cover art

The Last Goodnight

By: Howard Blum
Narrated by: Tristan Morris
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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 listeners say about The Last Goodnight

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.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Hard to get into

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

4 people found this helpful

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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

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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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

2 people found this helpful

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Well written…fascinating story

Howard Blum did well in his story about Betty Pack. There were many suspenseful turns in Betty’s life and Howard Blum captured them. Truth is stranger…and more complex, than fiction. You will enjoy this book.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    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!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

1 person found this helpful

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I could not read the whole book

I read 3/4 of this book. I just couldn’t listen to another minute of this womans life. She is the Most self centred,egotistical,piece of garbage I’ve ever read about. She tried to kill her unborn child, she cheated on her husband continuously, with countless men. With no regard or remorse. She actively planned out these conquests or sometimes on the spur of the moment. She was so morally bankrupt, I just couldn’t keep reading about this woman who cared about herself and her own pleasures more than anything or anyone.
I have read other books by this author and found them entertaining. However, he paints her with a broad brush. Most of the time he tries to mitigate her actions. He should be ashamed of himself. Why he did this is beyond me.
I can see merit in not being so judgmental of people since we are all flawed.
But this woman is just so self absorbed
I just couldn’t listen to anymore. I would listen to this book for half an hour and just be so depressed.
Worst review I’ve ever given to a book but so well deserved

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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Great Espionage Novel

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