Cover image for Code name : Lise : the true story of World War II's most highly decorated woman / Larry Loftis.
Code name : Lise : the true story of World War II's most highly decorated woman / Larry Loftis.
Title Variants:
Code name Lise, the true story of World War II's most highly decorated woman
First Gallery books hardcover edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., [2019]
Physical Description:
xxi, 360 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Dramatis personae -- Preface -- Duty -- Jinxed -- Mission to Marseille -- The briefcase -- Control -- The kiss -- Pearl of the French Alps -- Grand Duke -- Lifeless -- The beam -- They will send for you -- Tick, tick -- The Black Hollow -- Viennese waltzes -- All my love -- Lily of the valley -- The bunker -- The slaughter -- Still warm -- Pierre -- Hunting the hunter -- Fanning the damned -- Completing the loop -- Epilogue -- Appendix: the soe official history affair.
"The extraordinary true story of Odette Sansom, the British spy who operated in occupied France and fell in love with her commanding officer during World War II--perfect for fans of Unbroken, The Boys in the Boat, and Code Girls."--Provided by publisher.
Personal Subject:


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
940.54864092 ODE LOF Book Adult Biography
940.54864092 ODE LOF Book Adult Biography

On Order



Best Nonfiction Books to Read in 2019-- Woman's Day
The Best Nonfiction Books Coming Out This Year-- BookBub
"A nonfiction thriller."-- Wall Street Journal

From internationally bestselling author of the "gripping" (Michael Connelly, #1 New York Times bestselling author) Into the Lion's Mouth comes the extraordinary true story of Odette Sansom, the British spy who operated in occupied France and fell in love with her commanding officer during World War II--perfect for fans of Unbroken , The Nightingale , and Code Girls .

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 from there 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.

In Code Name: Lise , Larry Loftis paints a portrait of true courage, patriotism, and love--of two incredibly heroic people who endured unimaginable horrors and degradations. He seamlessly weaves together the touching romance between Odette and Peter and the thrilling cat and mouse game between them and Sergeant Bleicher. With this amazing testament to the human spirit, Loftis proves once again that he is adept at writing "nonfiction that reads like a page-turning novel" ( Parade ).

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

With evident sympathy, Loftis (Into the Lion's Mouth) tells a well-researched, novelistic story of a heroine and patriot whose face recently graced a postage stamp in the U.K. This exciting portrait of Odette Sansom, a French Mata Hari at the forefront of the Resistance, vividly captures her years in occupied France, complete with lively dialogue. Marriage to an Englishman finds Odette raising a family in Somerset when, at age 30, she is recruited by the spy branch of England's War Office, known as Special Operations Executive, or SOE, to help "set Europe ablaze." Loftis follows Odette as she undergoes rigorous training, assumes a new identity ("Lise"), and is shipped abroad. Guided by a strong moral imperative in her fight against Nazis, Odette risked her life on multiple occasions yet managed to cheat death each time; at one point she opines that nothing she endured could compare with the pain of being separated from her children. Meanwhile, she became entangled with her supervisor, Capt. Peter Churchill (no relation to Winston), and their love is the stuff of romance novels. Swift and entertaining, Loftis's work reads less like a biography and more like a thriller. Photos. Agent: Keith Urbahn, Javelin. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Loftis (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.-Crystal Goldman, Univ. of California, San Diego Lib. © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Mapp. xi
Dramatis Personaep. xiii
Prefacep. xv
Prologuep. xix
Chapter 1 Dutyp. 1
Chapter 2 Jinxedp. 14
Chapter 3 Mission to Marseillep. 30
Chapter 4 The Briefcasep. 46
Chapter 5 Controlp. 56
Chapter 6 The Kissp. 66
Chapter 7 Pearl of the French Alpsp. 77
Chapter 8 Grand Dukep. 88
Chapter 9 Lifelessp. 99
Chapter 10 The Beamp. 112
Chapter 11 They Will Send for Youp. 121
Chapter 12 Tick, Tickp. 138
Chapter 13 The Black Hollowp. 151
Chapter 14 Viennese Waltzesp. 162
Chapter 15 All My Lovep. 174
Chapter 16 Lily of the Valleyp. 184
Chapter 17 The Bunkerp. 194
Chapter 18 The Slaughterp. 208
Chapter 19 Still Warmp. 221
Chapter 20 Pierrep. 232
Chapter 21 Hunting the Hunterp. 237
Chapter 22 Fanning the Damnedp. 241
Chapter 23 Completing the Loopp. 250
Epiloguep. 257
Appendix: The SOE Official History Affairp. 267
Author's Notep. 279
Acknowledgmentsp. 281
Notesp. 283
Bibliographyp. 343
Indexp. 351