The year is 1942, and World War II is in full swing.
Odette Sansom decides to follow in her war hero father’s footsteps by becoming an SOE agent to aid Britain and her beloved homeland, France. Five failed attempts and one plane crash later, she finally lands in occupied France to begin her mission.
It is here that she meets her commanding officer Captain Peter Churchill. As they successfully complete mission after mission, Peter and Odette fall in love. All the while, they are being hunted by the cunning German secret police sergeant, Hugo Bleicher, who finally succeeds in capturing them.
They are sent to Paris’s Fresnes prison, and on to concentration camps in Germany, where they are starved, beaten, and tortured. But in the face of despair, they never give up hope, their love for each other, or the whereabouts of their colleagues.
This is portrait of true courage, patriotism and love amidst unimaginable horrors and degradation.
If you love a non-fiction read you can really get caught up in that will make you think about its events long after you’ve finished reading it, then Code Name Lise might be your next favourite read. I’m always a sucker for any book that’s got the slightest connection to spies and I was really drawn in by Odette’s story and really wonder why I’ve never heard of her before. I love books that transport me in time and place and I read this across a sunny Scottish weekend – totally losing myself in occupied France and Larry Loftis’ fantastic sense of atmosphere in this immersive and thrilling read.
Code Name Lise’s tale of both Odette and Peter is a clever device that allows you to draw parallels and see the differences between their relationships across time and miles as both stories unfold in an incredibly lifelike way. Their story is so captivating that it’s easy to forget that this is not fiction, it actually happened as you travel across time and place with them – witnessing the horrific ordeals that they managed to endure together.
Larry Loftis has a deft and distinct turn of phrase and recreates distinct thought patterns very skilfully in order to make these characters come to life in these pages. This is an exciting and satisfying read, where Odette’s exploits are wonderfully realised and her amazing courage is brought to life for a generation who can only imagine the circumstances that she loved through in her work as part of the Spindle network and the important part she and others played in our country’s history.
If you want a memorable and beautifully written book that brings a moment in history alive and introduces you to one of our country’s lesser known heroines you’ll love this book and I know a few book-loving friends who are definitely going to be pinching it from me for their holidays
Why don’t you treat yourself to a copy and find out more about Odette’s story for yourself?
Writer On The Shelf
Larry Loftis is the international bestselling author of INTO THE LION’S MOUTH:The True Story of Dusko Popov: WWII Spy, Patriot, and the Real-Life Inspiration for James Bond, which has been translated into Portuguese, Dutch, Serbian, Chinese, and Czech.
His next book, CODE NAME LISE:The True Story of the Spy Who Became WWII’s Most Highly Decorated Woman, will be published Jan. 15, 2019 by Gallery/Simon & Schuster.
Larry is also an attorney and prior to becoming a full-time writer, he published legal articles in the University of Florida Law Review, Suffolk Transnational Law Journal, Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, Florida Bar Journal, National Law Journal, and Florida Banking.
He received his BA and JD from the University of Florida, where he served on the Law Review as the senior executive editor and senior articles editor. He also served at the law school as a teaching fellow for Writing/Appellate Advocacy.