The Codebreakers by Alli Sinclair. (2021).
**4.5 out of 5 stars**
**Thank you to Harlequin Australia for sending me a free advance readers copy of this novel; published 3 March 2021**
1943, Brisbane. The war continues to devastate and the battle for the Pacific threatens Australian shores. Ellie helps the war effort by utilising her engineering skills for Qantas as they evacuate civilians and deliver supplies. Her exceptional logic and integrity attract the attention of the Central Bureau – an intelligence organisation. But joining means signing a lifetime secrecy contract and breaking it is treason. Ellie works with a group of elite women who decipher enemy communications. They form a close bond yet there could be a traitor in the midst. Meanwhile, Ellie struggles with keeping her work secret from those she holds dear. When the man she loves asks questions she’s forbidden to answer, how will she prevent her double life from unravelling?
Wow, this one was a fantastic and interesting read. The storyline is inspired by the real codebreaking women of Australia’s top-secret Central Bureau in WWII, who contributed to shortening the war by up to 2 years. I had literally no knowledge of this at all so it was absolutely engrossing and I’m so glad the author has shined the light on this topic. Ellie and all of the ‘Garage Girls’ were intriguing characters, all of them intelligent women who were doing such an important job that they had to keep secret from literally everyone. The burden of that is unimaginable really but I think the author has done an excellent job of portraying it, particularly in the setting of dating and falling in love but having to keep your job a secret from your loved one. I also appreciated that the author explored what life would have been like for these women after the war, when they STILL weren’t allowed to tell anyone what they had been doing. Absolutely fascinating.
Overall: a compelling historical fiction novel that I believe a lot of readers would really enjoy and one I’d highly recommend.