Wolves at the Door: The True Story Of America's Greatest Female Spy
by Judith Pearson
Virginia Hall left her comfortable Baltimore roots of privilege in 1931 to follow a dream of becoming a Foreign Service Officer. After watching Hitler roll into Poland, then France, she decided to work for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), a secret espionage and sabotage organization. She was soon deployed to France where the Gestapo imprisoned, beat, and tortured spies.
Against such an ominous backdrop, Hall managed to locate drop zones for money and weapons, helped escaped POWs and downed Allied airmen flee to England, and secured safe houses for agents. Soon, wanted posters appeared throughout France offering a reward for her capture. By winter of 1942 Hall had to flee France via the only route possible: a hike on foot through the frozen Pyrénées Mountains into neutral Spain.Upon her return to England, the OSS recruited her and sent her back to France disguised as an old peasant woman. While there, she was responsible for killing 150 German soldiers and capturing 500 others, sabotaging communications and transportation links, and directing resistance activities.
This is the true story of Virginia Hall, a remarkable woman ignored by history books for over fifty years.
"An inspiring look at one of WWII's darkest hours."--James Bradley, author of Flags of Our Fathers
"Captures an experience almost too terrifying for words. To follow one man's ordeal in a Japanese torture ship is to travel through the bowels of hell."--Iris Chang, author of The Rape of Nanking
"[A] searing tribute."--Senator John McCain
"Recommended for any public library with readers interested in World War II."--Library Journal
Judith L. Pearson, award winning writer's career began in a tree: a wonderful old maple in her parents’ backyard, with a perfect branch on which to sit and spill out her thoughts. Now hundreds of thousands of words later, this Michigan native is still writing.
The founder of Courage Concepts, an organization that cultivates courage in women, Pearson provides workshops and keynotes for corporations and organizations. She and her husband split their time between her idyllic little home town on the shores of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago. And she still climbs trees!