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She has now written a truly stunning book - quite the best by a non-veteran of secret warfare.

If any young reader wonders 'why the bunting and the occasional tear - this VE Day, I recommend this book'. Now a freelance writer, Sarah was invited to undertake this project by the family of Vera Atkins. Evelyn Waugh: A Life Revisited. The Hairy Dieters: Fast Food. My Life with Wagner.

A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of WWII.

Guide To Better Acol Bridge. The Hairy Dieters: Good Eating. The Carl Rogers Reader. Vera Atkins — was the highest-ranking female official in the French section of a WWII British intelligence unit that aided the resistance. Atkins sent agents into France, including 39 women she'd personally recruited and supervised.

A Life In Secrets by Sarah Helm | Waterstones

Many were caught by the Gestapo and subsequently disappeared and presumed dead. In , after the war, Atkins, fiercely loyal to the memory of her missing agents, took it upon herself to spend a year interviewing concentration camp officials and survivors in order to piece together her agents' fates. Helm, a founding member of London's Independent , brilliantly reconstructs Atkins's harrowing detective work, shedding light in particular on the fate of missing agent Noor Inayat Khan, whose suitability for the job had been widely doubted.

Drawing on interviews with relatives and friends of both Atkins and her agents, and on full access to Atkins's private papers, Helm has produced a memorable portrait of a woman who knowingly sent other women to their deaths and a searing history of female courage and suffering during WWII.

  • A Life In Secrets by Sarah Helm | Waterstones.
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Vera Atkins selected and ran the agents — 39 of them women — who were smuggled into occupied France in World War II. What was the fate of those who vanished?

BBC Timewatch - The Princess Spy (World War II)

While officialdom was ready to close the files, Vera Atkins was not. Following the clues with intellectual rigor and passion, she discovered what happened to the vanished but in the process left another mystery: just who was Vera Atkins?

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Better than CSI because it is all true and inspiring. Yet again it has taken meticulous investigative reporting to reveal the horrific realities of war. Sarah Helm uncovers a remarkable story of courage, cruelty, and compassion as the horrors of the war catch up with these brave men and women, who risked everything in the struggle against Hitler and his minions.