Wednesday, April 13, 2022

#12: The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

Three young women from very different backgrounds end up recruited into the Bletchley Park codebreaking ranks during World War II; a few years later, on the eve of the Royal Wedding, they learn of a dangerous secret from that time in Kate Quinn's The Rose Code.

The Rose Code is an enjoyable, carefully-plotted thriller--with real-life people and situations--that shows three fully-realized characters excited to do their part in the war, alternating with scenes from the near future, which we see their lives altered by grief, betrayal, and death.

The ending ties up amazingly neatly--almost a shade too neatly--but is very satisfying.

This is my first novel by Quinn, and I will be on the lookout for more; it covers an interesting time in history, with a lot of true details from that era, but is also a really solid read.  

The novel was helped tremendously by a great audiobook read from Saskia Maarleveld.  I will be watching out for more of her work, as well.

I checked this out from the Henry County-New Castle Public Library in New Castle, Indiana, and listened to most of it on a long car ride.  Recommended, especially in audiobook.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

#11: The Assassins by Kirk Hamilton

Two legendary hired guns end up on the opposite sides of a range war, and soon realize all isn't what it seems to be, in Kirk Hamilton's The Assassins.

One gun-hand comes to visit an old friend, the other gunslick is working for a hot-headed neighbor rancher who inherited the ranch from her father.  Both are fighting over a piece of land for what turns out to be curious reasons, once the two men are able to compare notes.

Hamilton was actually Keith Hetherington, a crazily prolific Australian author with a fistful of pseudonyms and a couple of long-running western series.

This is a standalone novel that cracks along at a bruising pace and hits all the right beats, while throwing in a surprise or two.

I have finally been able to grab onto a batch of Cleveland Westerns and am pledging to work through the slender volumes steadily.  So far, so good.