A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of by Sarah Helm

By Sarah Helm

From an award-winning journalist comes this real-life cloak-and-dagger story of Vera Atkins, one in all Britain’s most appropriate mystery brokers in the course of international struggle II. 
As the top of the French element of the British precise Operations government, Vera Atkins recruited, informed, and mentored particular operatives whose task used to be to prepare and arm the resistance in Nazi-occupied France. After the conflict, Atkins courageously dedicated herself to a deadly look for twelve of her such a lot adored girls spies who had long past lacking in motion. Drawing on formerly unavailable resources, Sarah Helm chronicles Atkins’s striking lifestyles and her singular trip throughout the chaos of post-war Europe. Brimming with intrigue, heroics, honor, and the horrors of warfare, A lifestyles in Secrets is the tale of a grand, elusive lady and a journey de strength of investigative journalism.

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She could close things down because she had a mental filing system,” said Zenna. “I am the same. ” But the two of them said I would find clues. For example, Zenna had discovered photographs hidden behind other photographs in Vera's frames. ” And she said that although she had few facts to give me, she had heard a mass of stories from Vera as a child. ” It would be a matter of luck. Back in the shed that afternoon I stopped looking for answers and found that this most secretive of women had indeed left clues of a sort.

In April the Germans had invaded Denmark and Norway, and by May German troops had surged through the Low Countries and penetrated France, forcing British, French, and Belgian forces to retreat at Dunkirk. It was impossible to say how much time it would now take before Britain and its allies could amass a force with the strength to retake Europe. In the meantime, inspired by Churchill's own enthusiasm for guerrilla warfare, SOE was created to start an immediate fight-back. SOE was to develop a secret war: building up, organising, and arming a resistance army from the peoples of the Nazi-occupied countries.

First, Park the doorman, in dark suit and tie, would lead the way (never asking names but always knowing exactly who a new arrival was) through the gilded gates of the lift and on up to the second floor. In perfect English or French, whichever they preferred, Park would then usher them into the flat and straight into a bathroom, because there was no space for a waiting room. “Back in the bathroom, please, sir [or madam],” he would say if they wandered out, and here the agents sat on the side of a deep, jet-black bath, or on the onyx bidet, surrounded by black and white tiles, while they waited to see what would happen next.

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