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Code Name: Lise

The True Story of the Spy Who Became WWII's Most Highly Decorated Woman
Written by: Larry Loftis
Narrated by: Kate Reading
Length: 9 hrs and 59 mins
Categories: History, Military
4.5 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From internationally best-selling author of the “gripping” (Michael Connelly, number-one New York Times best-selling 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’ 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).

©2019 Larry Loftis (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ron
  • 2019-01-27

Captivating from start to finish!

World War 2 history is my passion. Especially stories of brave women and men who operated behind enemy lines. This audiobook is excellent! Great narration by Kate Reading. Just the voice for this incredibly exciting true story. This is the story of Operative Odette Sansom who after undergoing specialized training and after several abortive attempts to parachute her into France, is finally linked up with her Commander and Wireless Operator. Her commander is Captain Peter Churchill(No Relation to the Big Man!), and He and Odette fall in love over time. They are betrayed to a German trying to break up their cell and arrest them all.(Hugo Bleicher). He is crafty and Odette is continually matching wits with him as it is move against counter move in a life and death situation. How Odette suffered had me in tears and I won't give away the ending of the excellent true story; only to say both her and Peter Churchill are captured, tortured and sent from horrid prison conditions to even worse conditions. How Odette fools the Nazis into believing Peter Churchill is Winstons' nephew is amazing. The book is extremely well researched and written and a compelling listen(or Read I would imagine.) I recommend Mr. Loftis' book to all fans of this genre. Truth certainly is so much more exciting than fiction in this instance. As always I carefully listen to the voice before I consider a purchase. Cheers to Kate Reading for a superb job! - Ron L.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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interesting though not what was expected

The story was interesting though not what I was expecting. I thought it would be more about spycraft but in the end was more about stoic endurance in captivity. Performance was adequate if some what flat.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mega Amazon.commer
  • 2019-01-22

Riveting Story

What a riveting story, where the outcome is even more mysterious and exciting because it is true. Well researched, written, and narrated. Couldn’t stop listening.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Miss Manners
  • 2019-01-27

Bravery Beyond Measure

This strong & courageous woman ,Odette , Code name Lise , should never be forgotten .Her band of brave underground fighters help save France from the Annihilation that happened to Poland , Italy, Hungary, Germany and Russia in WWII.
It does take some time of listening or reading before the real tension comes into her life as a spy , but don’t give up , it gets very edgy & your heart will weep for her to survive .
Well done on the research , Larry Loftis ! Bravo !
I watch the movie 2018 The Final Solution and it tied in with this book. Made me realize the real terrible danger the world was crumbling into with World War II and Hitler at the realm . Please read the book and watch the movie to understand why
we must never let this happen again in the world!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • stuartjash
  • 2019-01-24

I can't believe this was real

This story is a non-fiction book, but with so much thrill, intrigue, and mystery. It has everything that makes for a good book. It took me only two days to finish this book. It bridges suspense into romance, as it chronicles Odette Sansom, who in her father's footsteps, fights for her country during WWII. She then falls in love with Captain Peter Churchill, and they go on mission after mission with one another.

This was one of the books that makes you want to drive around the block an extra time to keep listening. Kate Reading did a fantastic job narrating this exciting story.

26 of 28 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • 2019-04-18

Impressive

The biography of Odette Sansom Churchill (1912-1995) is absolutely amazing. Odette was a French woman married to an Englishman. She left her husband and three children to return to occupied France as a spy for the SOE (Special Operation Executive Program, a British spy agency)

The book is well written and researched. The conversations are taken verbatim from the records. The book is well documented. After the war Odette married Peter Churchill (1909-1972). He served in occupied France with her during the War. Loftis describes Odette’s ordeal as a prisoner in grisly detail. Therefore, the reader should be aware of the violence before reading it. Overall, this is an exciting and interesting biography.

The book is nine hours and fifty-nine minutes. Kate Reading does an excellent job narrating the book. Reading is an actress and voice artist. She has been nominated three times for the Audie Award and won it once. She also has been awarded three Earphone Awards.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Evert
  • 2019-03-16

A Most Excellent Listen

Yes, five stars. If you have any interest in military history buy it! Listen to it! If military history isn’t your thing, but find fascination in the stories of extraordinary people, even better!

That being said, there is one small distraction, that if I point out, I hope you will find helpful. It is this: Before starting the book, I wish I understood the fact that is my one quibble and that is the word “spy” in the title. “Spy” suggests furtive action in dark corners, skulking and uncovering, cloak and dagger in the shadows. This book is not that. Indeed, I would be hard pressed to call Lise a “spy.” She was most certainly an operative behind enemy lines but not the type that blew up trains or pressed stiletto knifes between Nazi ribs. Her story is more interesting. It is of humble fortitude and incredible courage. But because of "spy" in the title, I confess I was waiting for her to "do something." But her role was purely that of a courier and I think if I understood this from page one my misplaced anticipation would have been thwarted.

One final note: DO NOT skip the appendix. Keep listening.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lance S.
  • 2019-01-26

Germany in WWII

I chose this title because of my interest in the way an entire population of citizens became infatuated with Hitler and his way of governance. I am perpetually dumbfounded at the german population how they collectively embraced the mad ideas of Hitler and the Nazi machine. It shows how easily the psychology of a population can be so readily transfixed on destruction and abandon a multi-century belief in God and Jesus Christ and turn so readily to torture and murder in the name of genetics. Why was Hitler never assassinated within his first 18 months is beyond me. Let this history be a lesson in abandonment, that your developed ethics never become mutable in the face of political leadership or assumed friendships.
All The Best,
LPS

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Amanda
  • 2019-01-28

Not like Unbroken or The Nightingale

The details provided from Audible on this book are a bit misleading. It does take place in WWII, they are spies, but it reads nothing like Unbroken or The Nightingale. From the "story" prospective it falls short and provides many more details about POW life and the very sad and terrible things that happened there. Not really a love story and very little focus on the missions they did to foil the Germans.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Don L.
  • 2019-04-18

So-so performance of a so-so story

It's not what I was expecting, which isn't the book's fault. From the description I was expecting a spy story, which this is, but I wasn't expecting that about half of the book deals with the protagonist's incarceration in various Gestapo prisons. It's a harrowing and depressing account of brutal conditions and cruel treatment. I wasn't expecting James Bond, but neither was I expecting brutal reality. Still, it's an interesting story.

As for the performance: Well, the reader cannot do men's voices. And the story includes dozens of French names (places and people) that become almost impossible to keep straight. Okay, that's not the reader's fault, but it does make the performance less enjoyable.

Would I recommend this book? No.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomas Levin
  • 2019-02-27

Great story. Don’t miss the end notes and appendix.

Very interesting true story. Caused me to do a google search and read more about her and her associates. Don’t miss the end notes and appendix. That’s almost another books worth of material that apparently played out over the next several decades.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Martin E. Sandler
  • 2019-02-25

incredible, marvellou I could not put down.

bravery has a new name and it's called Odette. there are not enough superlatives to describe this woman. her bravery, her loyalty and her patriotism are Beyond description. I feel honored to have been able to read this woman's story. her incredible inventiveness to accomplish her missions and her determination inspires anyone that learns her accomplishments. how she was able to endure the torture she was subjected to and her 2-year captivity without going mad is unbelievable. her children must be proud to be her offspring. this story is more inspirational then any book intended for that purpose. listen and you will be glad you did.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful