I read The Killing Code by Ellie Marney a week or two ago and I’m still thinking about this book. I am not usually drawn to historical fiction or romance, but the premise of this book drew me in. The Killing Code focuses on the women who helped break coded phrases and messages during WWII. Combining this premise with a murder mystery and I knew I had to bump this up to the top of my reading list. The Killing Code is a wonderfully written, historical thriller that focuses on the women who helped the war effort.
Kit Sutherland is a code breaker working at Arlington Hall, helping to break codes from enemy lines. While Kit works for the war effort, she uncovers a string of murders that seem to be targeting girls who work for the government. Kit teams up with her supervisor Moya Kershaw, Dottie Crawford, and Violet DuLac to review the evidence and find out who’s behind the murders.
I loved everything about this book! I loved the setting in Virginia and how they work in the same compound near Washington DC. I liked how in each chapter of The Killing Code there were quotes from actual codebreakers in the war. I thought it added to the aesthetic and setting of the book.
As far as the characters, I thought Kit’s backstory was really interesting and I liked how it tied into the reveal of the killer. I can’t go into it in detail without spoiling the book. Kit and Moya develop a romantic relationship throughout the book and I adored them together! They have very different personalities, but I thought they complimented each other. Dottie has personal attachments to the case as she knew one of the girls who was killed. Finally, there’s Violet who faces racial discrimination throughout the book along with contemplating whether she wants to submit her college application. Each of the characters had their own journey which I thought helped define them and made them memorable.
Once I started The Killing Code, it didn’t take me long to finish the book. I looked forward to completing my day, so I could get back to reading the book. While I think this book was written as a one-off, it would be interesting to see a sequel. It could focus on a different portion of history and where everyone went after the war ended. The Killing Code was so good and I will be on the lookout for Ellie Marney’s other books. I rated The Killing Code five stars on Goodreads.