After her days cracking Nazi codes at Bletchley Park during World War II, Susan Gray (Anna Maxwell Martin) finds life as a housewife lacking. When she perceives patterns in a series of killings, she approaches the police, only to be rebuffed. Horrified by the prospect of more women being murdered, Susan gathers three of her Bletchley cohorts--outspoken, independent Millie (Rachael Stirling, Tipping the Velvet
); Jean (Julie Graham), an administrator at Bletchley who still has connections in the British bureaucracy; and Lucy (Sophie Rundle), whose eidetic memory makes her a living computer. Their complementary skills allow them to deconstruct these grisly crimes, predicting where the killer may strike next and gradually unraveling where he came from… which brings them closer to the murderer than they ever expected. The Bletchley Circle: Cracking a Killer's Code
cunningly mixes a gripping mystery with understated commentary on women's roles in society (or lack thereof). The social critique actually compounds the tension; the patronizing and dismissive attitude of the police and other men makes the serial killer's actions seem less like a derangement and more like the logical extreme of sexism. The writing, performances, and production are all top-notch; this is a smart, multilayered thriller. --Bret Fetzer
Four women who worked as codebreakers at Bletchley Park have taken up civilian lives. Susan, has collated data about a series of murders. She tries to convince the police she knows where another body is, but they are unable to locate it and dismiss her. She turns to her three friends and they work out where the next victim will be taken, find the body, then decide they are the only ones who can track down the killer.