#AusReads #LoveOzYA Book Review: “The Killing Code” by Ellie Marney

Title: The Killing Code
Author: Ellie Marney
Audio book narrator: Natalie Naudus, Kelsey Navarro
Genre: Historical/mystery
Intended audience: YA
Date Read: 08/02/2023 – 22/02/2023


Ellie Marney is my favourite Australian YA author, so I was of course very keen to check out her latest offering (even if the book had been out six months by the time I got to it!).

I have to admit this didn’t feel like an Ellie Marney book in the way her others have to me. This may be partially because it’s the first time I’ve listened to one of her books. And hearing American accents for 9 hours made it easy to forget it was by an Australian author. It’s also set in the 1940s and while it’s not Marney’s first historical fiction. None Shall Sleep was set in the 1980s, so this was a different feel again.

That said, a codebreaking facility during the Second World War is an excellent setting for a YA crime novel, and Marney definitely makes the most of it. I love a good serial killer novel and I really enjoyed the parallels between the girls’ codebreaking jobs and cracking the code of the killer.

The mystery did seem a bit slow at times, though for the most part that was offset by the characters’ personal stories. As the blurb mentions, Kit has a secret she’s hiding from everyone (though the reader knows what it is from the end of the first chapter). I didn’t feel like Kit and Moya had quite as much chemistry as some of Marney’s other romantic pairings, but seeing their relationship blossom was lovely and I loved how it was resolved at the end of the book.

This may not be my favourite Ellie Marney book (that would be White Night), this is a well-researched and engaging addition to her repertoire.

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