To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Enigma Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1996
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
A gripping World War II mystery novel with a cryptographic twist, Enigma's hero is Tom Jericho, a brilliant British mathematician working as a member of the team struggling to crack the Nazi Enigma code. Jericho's own struggles include nerve-wracking mental labor, the mysterious disappearance of a former girlfriend, the suspicions of his co-workers within the paranoid high-security project, and the certainty that someone close to him, perhaps the missing girl, is a Nazi spy. The plot is pure fiction but the historical background, Alan Turing's famous wartime computing project that cracked the German U-boat communications code, is real and accurately portrayed. Enigma is convincingly plotted, forcefully written, and filled with well drawn characters; in short, it's everything a good technomystery should be.
From Publishers Weekly
Set during WWII, Harris's latest thriller concerns the British attempt to crack the Nazis' secret codes.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
What follows is a story of great intrigue and suspense, full of tense moments and a truly unexpected plot twist at the end. The descriptions of cold and dreary England, Jericho's descent into depression, ordinary Brits struggling to cope with the hardships of the war are all very memorable and make this book into something more than a mere thriller.
It makes for great reading. I recommend it.
Well-crafted, deftly constructed, persuasive mystery from Robert Harris, as usual combining his signature ability to make historical events come alive, sympathetic and richly drawn characters, skillful writing and pacing.
Hard to fault the book, whose structure, by the way, is intended to mimic the Enigma itself, with its wheels within wheels giving new meaning to strings of symbols, each wheel here being a new configuration or interpretation of some character's motivation.
Some excellent descriptions of the mental exercise of cryptanalysis, and of problem-solving generally. I recommend by the way Michael Chabon's novel "Final Solution" as well for its insight into mathematicians' psyches.
Wonderful touches on life in the English countryside during the war, and in Bletchley generally, having the ring of authenticity and the warmth of humanism and humor.
Some plot points, unfortunately, I found implausible.
(1) No very good reason was provided for Puck to have to get a gun, much less to steal one, which only increases the risk to him.
(2) No reason for Edward to have been told so much about Claire. His story contradicts himself - he would have been left out of the loop entirely, it seems to me.
(3) The purpose of Claire's supposed security status seemed very unclear to me. All she actually did was disrupt the life of Bletchley's best cryptanalyst, namely Jericho, and cause a huge security risk to Puck. Surely she could have made up to Jericho once the effect of her breakup on his psyche was clear. The plan of having a dalliance with Jericho, then breaking his heart, seems designed to minimize his effectiveness.
(4) The book argues that Puck could not killed Claire (reasoned Tom) because he was under surveillance; but if true, all the harder it would have been to have carried out the scheme he actually did.
(5) Hard to believe Tom's insight about the fourth rotor not being used at the beginning was really as amazing as presented. Seems like the first thing they'd do is try a 3-rotor solution. But here, maybe I am not fully grasping something, so I doubt this criticism is valid.
Nevertheless, the way the book evokes so powerfully a remarkable time and place, with its intersection of cultures - Victorian England and modern England; Russia and Germany; paper and computer; past and present; individualism and society; is unforgettable.
I am now about to read An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris.