A Portrait of Loyalty (The Codebreakers)

Written by Roseanna M. White
Review by Susan McDuffie

1918: Zivon Marin, a skilled cryptographer, flees Russia and the Bolsheviks who have murdered his fiancée. A train wreck separates him from his brother. Zivon continues to London and offers his services to the English, eventually giving his brother up for dead.

Lily Blackwell aids the war effort by doctoring photographs for British Intelligence.  She and Zivon form a friendship which blossoms into something deeper. But the Bolsheviks call Zivon’s loyalty into question, as well as his capacity for forgiveness. The events of 1918 sorely test Lily too. Will their faith and love carry them through?

I very much enjoyed this novel. The background of WWI intelligence work proved fascinating, and the fully developed characters—both primary and secondary players—engaged my interests and sympathies. White’s writing flows, and she tells a fine story. Lily and Zivon’s Christian faith sustains them, but the issues they confront are those readers of every religion wrestle with, and will resonate with anyone who has struggled with loss and suffering. This novel is the third in the “Codebreakers” series. Recommended.