A former undetected outlaw who ran with Bill Bagley’s notorious gang during the Depression, Lena Stillman is now an elite codebreaker in a position to know the nation’s strategic secrets. Good under pressure, good at keeping her mouth shut, Lena never had trouble keeping her double lives compartmentalized—at least not until Bill is sentenced to hang, and her old Clockwork Gang becomes newsworthy.
Despite mounting fear that her secrets might be revealed, Lena excels at work and her skills attract new, unwanted attention. She is assigned to root out a spy at the Esquimalt base, and even her friends become suspects.
Intricate and entertaining, Speakeasy is a riveting West Coast caper, but like enemy submarines patrolling offshore, deeper issues lurk below. With the violence of war encroaching on Canada’s shores, Lena must grapple with her past and use all of her skills, linguistic and otherwise. She discovers that loyalty is simply a form of love. Who knows what causes it—or what revelations could make it disappear?
Lena is a code breaker. She broke the code which helped win the battle of Midway. But….she has a past. She was once involved with a famous bank robber, Bill Bagley.
Lena is a unique woman for this time period. She is a code breaker, she lives alone, plus she drove a getaway car. She is also hoping her world does not fall down around her ears. She is the type of woman character I love. However, I felt a little distance from her. I wanted to “feel more” for her and her situation. See, Bill is her past with a bite. He is on death row but he is still taunting her from behind bars. I should have felt a better connection with her, it just wasn’t there.
This was just a so-so read for me. I had trouble in the beginning figuring out who the narrator was. Then I realized it was changing narrators in the middle of the chapters. Now, keep in mind, I was reading an ARC and this may not be corrected yet, or it may be exactly how it’s supposed to be. This was just confusing to me until I was used to it.
The story did keep me reading and the ending was the best part of the book. It ended with a cliff hanger and I can’t wait to see what happens next. And yes, the author is working on a sequel.