Cover image for Speakeasy : [a novel] / by Alisa Smith.
Title:
Speakeasy : [a novel] / by Alisa Smith.
ISBN:
9781771620666
Publication Information:
Madeira Park, British Columbia : Douglas & McIntyre, 2017.

©2017
Physical Description:
232 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
Subtitle from cover.
Abstract:
"A former undetected outlaw who ran with Bill Bagley's notorious gang during the Depression, Lena Stillman is now an elite codebreaker in a position to know the nation's strategic secrets. Good under pressure, good at keeping her mouth shut, Lena never had trouble keeping her double lives compartmentalized--at least not until Bill is sentenced to hang, and her old Clockwork Gang becomes newsworthy. Despite mounting fear that her secrets might be revealed, Lena excels at work and her skills attract new, unwanted attention. She is assigned to root out a spy at the Esquimalt base, and even her friends become suspects. Intricate and entertaining, Speakeasy is a riveting West Coast caper, but like enemy submarines patrolling offshore, deeper issues lurk below. With the violence of war encroaching on Canada's shores, Lena must grapple with her past and use all of her skills, linguistic and otherwise. She discovers that loyalty is simply a form of love. Who knows what causes it--or what revelations could make it disappear?"--Provided by publisher.
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Summary

Summary

A former undetected outlaw who ran with Bill Bagley's notorious gang during the Depression, Lena Stillman is now an elite codebreaker in a position to know the nation's strategic secrets. Good under pressure, good at keeping her mouth shut, Lena never had trouble keeping her double lives compartmentalized--at least not until Bill is sentenced to hang, and her old Clockwork Gang becomes newsworthy.

Despite mounting fear that her secrets might be revealed, Lena excels at work and her skills attract new, unwanted attention. She is assigned to root out a spy at the Esquimalt base, and even her friends become suspects.

Intricate and entertaining, Speakeasy is a riveting West Coast caper, but like enemy submarines patrolling offshore, deeper issues lurk below. With the violence of war encroaching on Canada's shores, Lena must grapple with her past and use all of her skills, linguistic and otherwise. She discovers that loyalty is simply a form of love. Who knows what causes it--or what revelations could make it disappear?


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Intriguing characters and an unusual setting lift this appealing debut novel from Canadian author Smith (Plenty: A Year of Eating on the 100-Mile Diet). During WWII, 30-year-old Lena Stillman, a Canadian government code breaker, deciphers Japanese military communications; a few years earlier, she was part of a gang of bank robbers led by charismatic psychopath Bill Bagley, her former lover. She fears that her past is catching up with her as Bill starts sending messages to her from his cell on death row. Alternating with Lena's story are chapters set during the early 1930s narrated by Byron Godfrey, another former gang member who was shaken out of a dull, law-abiding life by Bill. Their adventures, especially in the Canadian backwoods, are both upsetting and exhilarating, just as Lena and Byron show themselves to be simultaneously guilty and innocent. If things don't work out for them quite as expected, that's part of the book's naïve charm. Agent: John Pearce, Westwood Creative Arts (Canada). (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.