A betrayal, a secret and a code she must break at any cost.
1940, Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire.
As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes.
Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything – beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses – but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart.
As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter – the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger – and their true enemy – closer…
If you loved The Crown, don’t miss this riveting historical novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network and The Huntress. Inspired by the real-life codebreakers of Bletchley Park, The Rose Code is a gripping, page-turning WWII historical which cements author Kate Quinn’s position at the top of this genre.
Dipping back and forth between Bletchley Park in 1940 and post-war London in 1947, Quinn vividly brings this period to life, complete with the fear, trauma and opportunity brought by WWII. I especially enjoyed reading about Bletchley Park which – with its wacky bunch of codebreakers – more closely resembled an asylum than it did a top-secret decryption facility.
The three fabulous female leads shine in this setting, and in their role as codebreakers. Though very different, each of these women is strong, patriotic and a force to be reckoned with, and Quinn’s depiction of their friendship was extremely touching. The supporting characters were also a pleasure to follow, from the other eccentric Bletchley Park recruits to Prince Philip of Greece – or as we know him, The Duke of Edinburgh.
Meticulously researched, gripping and impossible to put down, The Rose Code is yet another spectacular WWII historical from Kate Quinn. You don’t want to miss this.