The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein
English | 2020 | Historical Mystery > Young Adult| ePUB | 3.1 MB
The hair stood up at the back of my neck. Those letters meant something. And with the cipher machine, I’d worked it out myself.
- Facing a seemingly endless war, fifteen-year-old Louisa Adair wants to fight back, make a difference, do something-anything to escape the Blitz and the ghosts of her parents, who were killed by enemy action. But when she accepts a position caring for an elderly German woman in the small village of Windyedge, Scotland, it hardly seems like a meaningful contribution. Still, the war feels closer than ever in Windyedge, where Ellen McEwen, a volunteer driver with the Royal Air Force, and Jamie Beaufort-Stuart, a flight leader for the 648 Squadron, are facing a barrage of unbreakable code and enemy attacks they can’t anticipate.
Their paths converge when a German pilot lands in Windyedge under mysterious circumstances and plants a key that leads Louisa to an unparalleled discovery: an Enigma machine that translates German code. Louisa, Ellen, and Jamie must work together to unravel a puzzle that could turn the tide of the war? but doing so will put them directly in the cross-hairs of the enemy.
Featuring beloved characters from Code Name Verity and The Pearl Thief, as well as a remarkable new voice, this brilliant, breathlessly plotted novel by award-winning author Elizabeth Wein is a must-read.
I know nine men in 648 Squadron’s A-Flight were killed that night just because of weather. Two planes collided in fog just before landing, and one came down heavy with ice. But I don’t know how many in A-Flight fell to enemy fire.
How many in B-Flight, then? My own lads … I ought to know that, at least.
But I don’t. Not offhand. I’d have to sit and count. I probably made a note in my logbook. That night wasn’t the first time we took a heavy loss, and it wasn’t the last time. Buckets of blood. It wasn’t as many as last time. Anyway it’s hard to remember all the losses, which for Bristol Blenheim bomber crews was just about every mission, and I get some of the dead men muddled when I try to count. The Royal Air Force isn’t going to win the war flying Bristol Blenheims.
I’d argued with Wing Commander Talbot Cromwell before we took off on that mission. That wasn’t the first time, either. I knew he didn’t like me, and I risked an official reprimand, or worse, a demotion, every time I challenged him. We didn’t see eye to eye on anything.
‘We’ll never find German warships if we’re flying at twenty thousand feet!’ I told my commanding officer. I didn’t even try to hide my anger. ‘There’s no hope in hell of a Blenheim hitting anything from that height anyway. The bomb doors don’t always open when you want them to, and up there you can’t tell whether a speck out the window is an enemy destroyer or a bit of runway mud stuck on the Perspex!’
‘Are you quite finished, Flight Lieutenant Beaufort-Stuart?’ said Cromwell, lowering his eyebrows like barrier gates. ‘You’ll fly at twenty thousand feet, and so will all your men. Orders are orders. That’s where Coastal Command wants you to fly. I take my instructions from headquarters and you take yours from me.’
Cromwell and I had been at each other since the day we first came together about two weeks earlier.
He got transferred to us in October when we moved to Shetland as the Battle of Britain came to an end. Our squadron patrolled the North Sea for the Royal Air Force, the RAF, just as we’d done at other bases all through the summer of 1940. But Cromwell’s role with 648 Squadron was new. Before he got lumbered with us, he’d commanded a squadron of speedy new Spitfire fighters. In August and September, while we were flying Blenheims under cover of cloud on low-level bombing raids targeting German ships, he’d been sending fighter pilots into soaring dogfights in the sun.
None of our experiences matched up. He couldn’t manage twin engines and didn’t join us when we flew. And he didn’t like it that at nineteen years old I was half his age, shorter and slighter than most of the other lads and barely needing a shave, yet I talked back. He didn’t like that all of B-Flight were on my side because they were Blenheim airmen too; maybe I looked like a schoolboy, but they knew I wasn’t. I’d been their flight leader since August.