The Cypher Bureau

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 11 customer ratings
(11 customer reviews)

£8.99

  • Author Name: Eilidh McGinness
  • Publication Date: 28/03/18
  • Format: Paperback

In stock

A fast-paced historical thriller which follows the secret hero of WW2.

When The Polish Cypher Bureau discover that the Germans are using a new type of code that they are unable to decypher, the Bureau decide to recruit mathematic students in a new approach to code-breaking. Marian Rejewski is recommended to the Bureau and, along with other gifted students, attends a top secret code-breaking course. Marian leaves university to pursue a career in insurance but destiny calls and he is returns to Warsaw and The Cypher Bureau.

There he is supplied with a commercial Enigma machine and a set of user manuals obtained by espionage. Marian sets out alone to break the Enigma code. His work is carried out with utmost secrecy. In 1932 he cracks the code but that is only the beginning. The Germans modify their Enigma to make the codes more secure and the code breakers at The Cypher Bureau have to intensify their efforts. Every night at midnight the codes change and a new race against the clock begins. Secrecy is paramount. The Germans must not find out their code is no longer secure. As the possibility of war with Germany increases, the work of The Cypher Bureau becomes more desperate. The messages have to be de-coded urgently and time is running out.

Author Eilidh McGinness lives in France and started writing a few years ago. Eilidh is a fully qualified lawyer. She studied law at Aberdeen University and completed her training in Aberdeen-shire. Eilidh was born in Dingwall, Scotland. She is a member of the Bordeaux Writers Group, An Aquitaine Historical Society and The Franco-British Chamber of Commerce.

11 reviews for The Cypher Bureau

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Janice Rayns

    A great read. The author has seamlessly joined fact and fiction together to produce a moving and thought provoking account of the work of Marian Rejewski and his colleagues at the Polish Cypher Bureau. This was a part of history I knew nothing about but as I turned the pages I learnt about his extraordinary skills as a code breaker and the increasingly dangerous turns his life took so that he could continue his work when Poland was invaded. The book also manages to give an insight into how events in Poland before, during and after the war impacted on the lives of ordinary people.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Hilary Forbes

    I could not put this book down. I totally recommend it. Not only does it give a a different perspective of the first Enigma Code breakers, but also a stark and deeply moving account of how war invades and changes lives forever, bringing fear, torment, a stripping of all freedoms except the inner worlds we each can choose to inhabit – one such is to hang on to even the tiniest sliver of hope. This book caused me to reflect more deeply again on what my own father must have endured out in Burma during WW2. A different setting from this book but his descriptions of how people treated people so similar to those I’ve read in this book, albeit a fictional account, truth resonates throughout every page. So many unknown heros, let us never forget.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Grahamd

    After a lifetime of being a voracious book reader, following a couple of heart attacks I lost all motivation to read! I still *bought* books, but somehow never got round to reading them! The Cypher Bureau has changed that – the first book I have read cover to cover in many years. It is a well written, fast moving tale tracing the cracking of the Enigma machines developed by the Germans in the 1930’s and deemed to be unbreakable. It was used by the Nazis throughout World War Two. For Brits, the story is that the Enigma Code was cracked at Bletchley Park, with Alan Turing leading the fight. Until recently there has been little or no mention of the roles played by both the French and the Polish cryptographers. Cracking the code – and more importantly, keeping the fact that it was broken saved very many lives since the Enigma machines were used to code important commands to U-Boats and others. Having fore knowledge was vital to the war effort. This is the root of the story – the sacrifices of a small team (and their families) which without doubt changed the putcome of the war. Extraordinarily, the secret that the code had been cracked was maintained until long after the war ended and even now the Polish and French contributons have had little recognition. That may sound a bit dry – but this book captures both the drama and the suffering involved – and the treachery of the Allies when World War Two finally reached its end and the sacrifice of Poland to appease the USSR. Thank you Eilidh Mcginness for an excellent read – and for re-vitalising my reading appetite!!!

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Alexander Wordsmith

    I was gripped from the first page! Actually I was really taken by the textured cover. The author mixes fact with fiction in the telling of this episode of history, and although I knew a bit about Alan Turing I was unaware of the influence of the Poles in cracking the Enigma code. The early years of the ‘hero’ Marian Rejewski are covered, but briefly so that the reader can quickly progress to the heart of the story, whilst still giving the context of impending war. Expertly told, and one of those books that makes you want to read ‘just one more chapter’ before putting it down. Highly recommended.

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Ann Fraser

    Absolutely fascinating aspect of the whole Enigma story. I do not think we, in the West, appreciate the oppression Polish people had to live with until relatively modern times. This book captures the atmosphere and fear of the time. I do hope the characters in this book and their contribution will be given more recognition as the facts become more widely known. Altogether an enjoyable and interesting read.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    B. F. Orme

    In the beginning I felt as though I was reading a text book/non-fiction but as soon as I got into it I enjoyed it more and more and more. It is well written, it tells a very good story and fiction aside, it is very interesting and informative from an historical perspective. It was refreshing and meaningful and it also was a much needed reminder in some quarters as to the role played and the sacrifices made by Poland and France as well as Great Britain and the USA in bringing about peace in respect of WW2. I shall look forward to reading the next book by Eilidh McGinnes.

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    Mrs J Rayns

    A great read. The author has seamlessly joined fact and fiction together to produce a moving and thought provoking account of the work of Marian Rejewski and his colleagues at the Polish Cypher Bureau. This was a part of history I knew nothing about but as I turned the pages I learnt about his extraordinary skills as a code breaker and the increasingly dangerous turns his life took so that he could continue his work when Poland was invaded. The book also manages to give an insight into how events in Poland before, during and after the war impacted on the lives of ordinary people.

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    David M Edes

    A really interesting insight into the work done by Polish code breakers on the enigma machine

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    Skidude

    I really enjoyed this book. The authors style is very easy to read, the story was chronological and flowed really well, it was easy to remember the characters and follow the plot. There was no over sensationalism, it was very matter of fact. It was a very engaging book, I kept wanting to carry on reading to find out what happened next. It was very interesting to learn more about a piece if history which I was only partially aware of. I really liked the last section updating on what became of everyone.

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    Helen Sawyer

    A great work of fiction based around revelatory facts. I’d always understood that Alan Turing and Bletchley took all the credit for cracking Enigma, but the Poles clearly were doing it 8 years before. I loved the characters and sequencing and the story really rolled along with great tension. The Epilogue added to the validation of the facts of the story. Entertaining and taught me something.

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    Mrs C M Archer

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Interesting and engaging. I never knew about the Polish and French involvement before. It evoked the human side of the war years and the many unsung quiet heroes there were. Really felt for their poor families who really hadn’t a clue what had happened to them. Showed both the best and the worst of human enterprise.

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