She was beautiful . She was ruthless. Recruited at the age of 23 by legendary spymaster William Stephenson — code name: Intrepid-- Vera Atkins undertook countless perilous missions in the 1930’s. Her fierce intellect, boundless energy, personal courage, and facility with languages quickly propelled her to the leadership echelon of the highly secretive Special Operations Executive (SOE,) a covert intelligence agency formed by Winston Churchill. During WWII, she became Great Britain’s Spymistress. Here agents penetrated deep behind enemy lines, aided, resistance fighters, destroyed vital targets, helped Allied pilots evade capture and radioed information back to London. They were prepared to die to liberate Europe from the Nazis. Vera Atkins was demobilized in 1947. Author William Stevenson was the only person she trusted to record her life – as he had done for her one time recruiter, Intrepid – with one condition. He would not publish her biography until after her death.
From the critics:
Mr. Stevenson sheds the first light on Atkins’ remarkable story. . . . Along with Vera Atkins we learn about SOE and its personnel whose stories put the best spy thrillers to shame. Among her friends she counted an anti-Nazi German diplomat, Bill Stephenson (aka Intrepid), the American pilot Chuck Yeager . . . and regular people ready and willing to do the extraordinary. They and their accomplishments are all brought to light, some for the very first time.
---New York Journal of Books
“More intricate and exciting than the world of James Bond.”
“A compelling examination of the courage and timidity, the brilliance and stupidity that competed in the confrontation against Nazism’s rising specter. . . Splendid.”Much new information. . . The stuff of high drama and genuine heroism.”