Hawaii author’s “Codebreaker’s Secret” is full of murder, romance, longing and yes, cryptography

article top

A brilliant female codebreaker. An “unbreakable” Japanese naval code. A pilot on a top-secret mission that could change the course of WWII. 

The Codebreaker’s Secret is a dazzling story of love and intrigue set during America’s darkest hour.


Set in Hawaii, this twisty, dual-timeline narrative weaves together the stories of cryptanalysist Isabel Cooper working for the war effort after the attack on Pearl Harbor and rookie journalist Lu Freitas striving to carve out a place for herself in the media machine of the 1960s.

In 1943, Isabel Cooper devotes herself to breaking Japanese codes after the attack on Pearl Harbor kills her brother, but she becomes disenchanted with war work after the only other female codebreaker at Honolulu’s Station HYPO goes missing under mysterious circumstances and the pilot she thought she was falling for is reassigned to a different front.

In 1965, Lu Freitas is covering a hotel unveiling in Mauna Kea when a young woman disappears and a decades-old skeleton turns up in the lava fields. She jumps on the story as a chance for her big break, and she soon finds herself digging up wartime secrets and a connection to a codebreaker named Isabel…

Ackerman’s evocative writing perfectly captures the place and time, and this enthralling tale of women defying the roles that society has imagined for them will give readers a fascinating view into the Pacific Front during WWII and the cultural landscape of post-war America. 

THE CODEBREAKER’S SECRET (on-sale August 2, 2022; MIRA Books; $16.99)

About the Author:

Sara Ackerman is a USA TODAY bestselling author who writes books about love and life, and all of their messy and beautiful imperfections. She believes that the light is just as important as the dark, and that the world is in need of uplifting stories. Born and raised in Hawaii, she studied journalism and later earned graduate degrees in psychology and Chinese medicine. She blames Hawaii for her addiction to writing, and sees no end to its untapped stories. Find out more about Sara and her books at www.ackermanbooks.com and follow her on Instagram @saraackermanbooks and on FB @ackermanbooks.




Leave a Reply