“A Portrait of Loyalty” is the conclusion to Roseanna M. White’s Codebreaker series. Having thoroughly enjoyed the first two books, I was not surprised to find book three as good. The focus is on our Russian lead, cryptographer Zivon Marin and his interaction with photographer, Lily Blackwell. The novel stands alone but for previous readers, it’s lovely to see familiar characters return.
The Great War is drawing to a close and the tensions in Russia rising. Zivon’s back story is exceptionally sad and the book spends a considerable amount of time exploring both sides of the Russian civil war. I missed the cryptography in this one, it is more a spy-orientated story without much decoding or intrigue as to who is behind the action.
Lily and her family are a delight and add lightness to a tragic period in history. I thoroughly enjoyed how Roseanna’s characters wrestled with and spoke with God.
For the sensitive reader, the Spanish flu has a significant role in the story. COVID-19 is still too much a part of my daily life to be comfortable with a similar pandemic in my relaxation reading.
If historical fiction is your thing, this is one to read! It’s a four out of five on the enJOYment scale.
From the back cover:
Zivon Marin was one of Russia’s top cryptographers until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee to England after speaking out against Lenin, Zivon is driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits. But never far from his mind is his brother, whom Zivon fears died in the train crash that separated them.
Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and re-creating photographs. With her father’s connections in propaganda, she’s recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove if she ever found out.
After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily that soon takes over their hearts. But both have secrets they’re unwilling to share, and neither is entirely sure they can trust the other. When Zivon’s loyalties are called into question, proving him honest is about more than one couple’s future dreams–it becomes a matter of ending the war.
I received a complimentary copy of the book from Bethany House Publishers through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.