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willemite

willemite

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Hieroglyph: Stories and Blueprints for a Better Future
Neal Stephenson
Ukraine: Zbig's Grand Chessboard & How the West Was Checkmated
Natylie Baldwin, Kermit D. Larson
The Girl on the Train: A Novel
Paula Hawkins
Our Souls at Night: A novel
Kent Haruf
Above the Waterfall
Ron Rash
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Stephen King
Designs on Film: A Century of Hollywood Art Direction
Cathy Whitlock
The Homicide Report: Understanding Murder in America
Jill Leovy
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
Erik Larson
The Gods of Mars
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Enigma - Robert Harris This is a fictionalized view of the British WW II code-breaking enterprise that cracked the German code scheme named Enigma. Set in the out-of-the-way English town of Bletchley. Tom Jericho is a whiz code breaker who was a crucial player in breaking the original Enigma code. But the effort cost him. Just recovering from a breakdown and a broken heart, he is brought back into the code-breaking effort. The Germans are making it tough on the Brits, changing aspects of their coding process to keep one step ahead of the codebreakers and their new-fangled computing machines. But there is mystery afoot. Chunks of data have gone missing. Tom’s ex girlfriend seems to be making the rounds of all the men on the project. What’s up with that? With a major floating convoy about to head from the USA to beleaguered European Allies, offering a wealth of targets for eager German u- boats, it is critical that the latest German code changes be broken. The action heats up when Tom discovers some missing files in an unexpected place. Who can be trusted?

That we know how it all turns out in the end in the larger picture takes something away from potential tension. Harris offers us a more detailed picture of the Enigma project, making it clear that this was not a single code breaking, but a process, an ongoing enterprise. It also looks at some of the very difficult decisions that had to be made to keep secret the fact that the code had been broken. And we learn a bit about the relationship between the UK and the USA during the war. But while it is an adult and enjoyable, I found it a less than completely satisfying read. I was just never drawn in to the plight of the characters enough to care a whole lot. Still, it offers an interesting look at a crucial aspect of the war and is worth a look for that alone.