The Killing Code

Making a valiant attempt to keep pace with my reading here -- damn the holidays with extra reading time...

So. A gang of brave, smart young women working together to solve murders? Set in the US equivalent of Bletchley Park? During the Second World War? With gorgeous, loving described outfits? Written by Ellie Marney, Australian YA crime queen? YES PLEASE.

The Killing Code lived up to all my expectations. One thing I really like about Marney's books is that, although she doesn't shy away from the horrific nature of the crimes she describes, she doesn't linger graphically on the injuries inflicted, but leaves them to the reader's imagination. So you're not left with horrible mental pictures haunting you. I appreciate that. I do not like crime-porn, or whatever the term is, and gruesome descriptions have put me off other crime novels in the past.

The setting was evocative, with just enough detail to give us a vivid picture of what code breaking must have really been like. Race relations of the time are also faced squarely, with the inclusion of clever, resourceful Violet, who really shouldn't be segregated in a separate hut with the other Black girls. Ooh, I nearly forgot, there is a smouldering lesbian romance here, too, as an extra bonus. And the clothes... I wanted to own them all.

The Killing Code was a super read. But I've come to expect nothing less from Ellie Marney.

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