BOOK REVIEW: The Codebreaker’s Secret by Sara Ackerman

Title: The Codebreaker’s Secret
Author: Sara Ackerman
Publication: August 2, 2022
Publisher: MIRA
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 384


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SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

1943. As war in the Pacific rages on, Isabel Cooper and her codebreaker colleagues huddle in “the dungeon” at Station HYPO in Pearl Harbor, deciphering secrets plucked from the airwaves in a race to bring down the enemy. Isabel has only one wish: to avenge her brother’s death. But she soon finds life has other plans when she meets his best friend, a hotshot pilot with secrets of his own.

1965. Fledgling journalist Lu Freitas comes home to Hawai’i to cover the grand opening of the glamorous Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Rockefeller’s newest and grandest project. When a high-profile guest goes missing, Lu forms an unlikely alliance with an intimidating veteran photographer to unravel the mystery. The two make a shocking discovery that stirs up memories and uncovers an explosive secret from the war days. A secret that only a codebreaker can crack.

**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

When this book popped up in my summer reads review requests I was so excited.  I had read the author’s other book called The Radar Girls and adored the book.  I learned so much about the woman that helped in WW2.  They didn’t just grow victory gardens for sure.  I couldn’t wait to start her next book, I knew it was going to be good. 

Izzy is a codebreaker.  She must remain hush, hush about what she does.  Her brother dies in Hawaii at Pearl Harbor and she makes it her goal to get a job there as a codebreaker.  Lu is working at the Rockafeller hotel opening in her home state of Hawaii.  Events happen with Lu that force these two women today or does it?  Holy cow Sara Ackerman has done it again.  This book was amazing.  Showcasing amazing women of WW2.  We are strong and smart.  I will admit that the back and forth between the 40s and 60s did annoy me to no end.  I know that there was a complete and total point for it.  However, I would get so involved in one story, and then bam we would switch.  I really loved the sweeping pictures she paints for Hawaii.  If I could ever talk my sun and sand-hating husband into a trip there I would visit in a heartbeat. Think of it as a bucket list item.  

I completely fell in love with these characters.  I think I loved Izzy the best.  She is plucky and keeps at it even after her boss jumps down her throat.  I really wanted things to work out for her.  The writing flowed well.  Once I got in the flow of the time jumps it made a lot more sense.  I would have never guessed the ending that was written.  I didn’t see that until the author started to lay it out for us then I was like OMG seriously.  I really wanted Izzy to get her happy ending and she totally did and I was happy.  The book is well researched.  Some of the events are true and some she says she added to and changed some of them around to fit the book better.  I cannot wait to see what this author comes up with next. 

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