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Crossing by Night
     

Crossing by Night

by David Aaron, Sandra Burr (Read by), Bill Weideman (Read by), Multivoice Production Staff (Read by)
 

Britain faced defeat unless it could crack the Nazi's "unbreakable" secret coding machine. In a last-chance effort, the British Secret Service chose a gifted amateur - Elizabeth Pack - a beautiful young American of proven courage and passionate recklessness, to steal the Nazi High Command's greatest secret.

An adventure of heart-pounding intrigue that takes

Overview

Britain faced defeat unless it could crack the Nazi's "unbreakable" secret coding machine. In a last-chance effort, the British Secret Service chose a gifted amateur - Elizabeth Pack - a beautiful young American of proven courage and passionate recklessness, to steal the Nazi High Command's greatest secret.

An adventure of heart-pounding intrigue that takes the listener from the Spanish Civil War to Berlin, Prague, and Warsaw, Elizabeth's perilous adventures and heated affairs climax in a breath-taking flight across Hitler's Germany on the edge of war. And Elizabeth's prize, an obscure coding machine, provides the margin of victory over Hitler in the Battle of Britain.

Crossing By Night is based on the exploits of the real-life American woman who changed the course of World War II. Her extraordinary adventures inspired Ian Fleming to create the famous James Bond.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fact and fiction create a winning combination in former deputy national security advisor Aaron's ( Agent of Influence ) romanticized account of real-life spy Elizabeth Thorpe Pack, the young American wife of stodgy British diplomat Arthur Pack, during the Spanish Civil War and at the beginning of WW II. Elizabeth's honeymoon announcement that they're going to have a baby sooner than propriety dictates makes Arthur fear for his career. After using Elizabeth's beauty and social status to meet Vita Sackville-West, Winston Churchill and others above his station, he puts their newborn son up for adoption and takes Elizabeth to Spain, where she behaves ``like a mad debutante'' and falls for Antonio Zaragoza. In the summer of 1936, she catches the eye of the SIS by rescuing the besieged British embassy in San Sebastian. Flying into Madrid during the bombing, she locates Zaragoza and frees 18 men from a Valencia prison. When Arthur is later posted to Warsaw, the British recruit Elizabeth to steal Polish copies of the Enigma, the Nazi encoding device. Relishing her work, Elizabeth pursues handsome intelligence officer Count Michael Lubienski and uncovers Poland's complicity in Hitler's acquisition of Czechoslovakia. Then Churchill asks her to engage in yet another risky, heroic act of espionage, which brings the book to a riveting denouement. In Aaron's capable hands, Elizabeth is an irresistible heroine and her story is the stuff of highest adventure. BOMC alternate; major ad/promo; optioned by Republic Pictures for a TV miniseries. (May)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Aaron ( State Scarlet , LJ 3/15/87; Agent of Influence , Putnam, 1989) has written a fictional account of the adventures of World War II spy Elizabeth Pack (code name: Cynthia). Crossing by Night chronicles Cynthia's brave and heroic deeds in 1930s Europe, climaxing in her plot to smuggle the famed Enigma coding device out of Hitler's Germany. At great personal risk, Pack ``left the comfortable world of a Washington debutante and diplomat's wife to lead the life of a spy.'' Real-life characters include her passionless husband, Arthur Pack; the romantic Count Michael Lubienski; and spymaster William Stephenson. While entertaining and fast-paced, this work presents a rather simplified view of the acquisition of Enigma by the British SIS. Neither the plot nor the characters are deeply developed or explored. Nevertheless, this action-packed, engaging novel will appeal to fans of romantic historical fiction and World War II adventure yarns. Recommended for larger collections. BOMC alternate; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/93.-- Stacie Browne Chandler, Plymouth P.L., Mass.
Kirkus Reviews
Grand espionage-adventure at the dawn of WW II, with the lovely wrinkle that the spy is a woman: American-born Elizabeth Pack, whose real-life exploits on behalf of the British take on stirring fictional form courtesy of Aaron (Agent of Influence, 1988, etc.) It's unclear how close Aaron sticks to the facts: One doubts that the real Elizabeth Pack found herself locked in a dungeon, forced to whip a naked Polish foreign minister as he begged, "Be cruel to me!" But no matter. There's historical ambience to spare here, starting in 1935, when Elizabeth—the pregnant, spunky young wife of British diplomat Arthur Pack—attends a dinner thrown by Vita Sackville-West and hears Winston Churchill warn of global conflict to come. After Arthur—fearing disgrace because Elizabeth became pregnant before they married—gives up their newborn for adoption, Elizabeth plunges into the bloody cusp of current affairs, accompanying Arthur to Spain and tending the wounded on both sides of the Civil War. There, she falls in love with a Spanish diplomat and daringly rescues him from prison—a feat noted by British spymaster William "Intrepid" Stephenson, who recruits her to ferret out Polish advances in cracking the Nazi coding machine known as "Enigma." In Warsaw, Elizabeth beds and falls for a Polish count, whom she turns, garnering much spy-data. She returns to England in triumph, only to be asked by Churchill to go back to Poland to steal a new-model Enigma. Hence the rendezvous with the Polish foreign minister, who in thanks for her strong wrist gives her an Enigma. In an extended, white-knuckle climax, Elizabeth smuggles the machine by train through Germany; dinner with agrateful King George VI follows. Great fun, featuring one of the strongest, most appealing heroines in recent thrillerdom. Aaron's best yet.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781561005154
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
06/01/1993
Edition description:
Unabridged

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