The legend of Betty Pack is simple enough. She was a beautiful American spy recruited first by the British Secret lntelligence Service in 1938 and later by the American OSS. Her method of obtaining information was singular: seduction. In Cast No Shadow Mary Lovell, author of Straight On Till Morning, the internationally acclaimed and best-selling biography of Beryl Markham, gives us for the first time the complete story behind the legend of this modern-day Mata Hari, a story more astounding than the legend.
Betty Pack's milieu was the aristocratic world of international diplomatic society The wife of a career British diplomat-the marriage for both partners had quickly become an arrangement of convenience, not passion - Betty would be witness to and participant in many of the most intense historic moments of the twentieth century: in civil war-torn Madrid, besieged Warsaw occupied Paris, wartime Washington. In each locale, Betty's entrée into diplomatic circles and her own penchant for seeking out men at the center of conflict made her a spy whose love of adventure was matched only by her talent for uncovering the enemy's secrets. Betty often knew what information her spymasters wanted; more important, she knew whom to approach and seduce in order to obtain it.
Relying on top-secret and heretofore unrevealed documents from British Intelligence as well as on Betty's own memoir written shortly before her death, Mary Lovell offers a remarkable portrait of a woman whose adeptness for intrigue in affairs of espionage and passion is astonishing. Cast No Shadow is a story of subterfuge and romantic expediency the exposes the hidden human intrigue of World War II and the life of a woman whose contribution to the Allied effort was invaluable and unique.
Cast No Shadow (Pantheon Books, New York)
Publication date 1992
Hardback ISBN 0 394 57556 3
Betty Pack - L'espionne qui changea le cours de l'Histoire (Albin Michel, Paris)
Publication date 1995
French paperback ISBN 2 226 06947 X
|What the reviewers said:|
|" ........ Documents the impact of Pack’s acts of espionage for British intelligence. Ms. Lovell’s fast-paced narrative describes such events as Pack’s role in cracking the German Enigma enciphering machine …[and] concludes that Pack’s life, whatever its flaws, is the story of a woman who did not let down the side…"
New York Times Book Review.
" ....... An entertaining biography that reads like a novel… this carefully crafted, well-written and readable book should appeal to a variety of readers, from World War II buffs to intrigue aficionados…"
U.S. Library Journal.
" ......Cast No Shadow is an excellent work of research and writing … a convincing account of a … woman who found fulfilment in espionage, as a spy for BSC [British Security Coordination] and the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) … this is a good read…"
Thomas Troy, Yale University Press.
" ...... Under Lovell’s skilful handling Pack emerges as a woman of extraordinary courage, daring, intelligence, and character. In short, the perfect spy…"
A.J.A. Binker, ‘Critical Thinking’ Santa Rosa University.