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The Poet in the Code Room

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The Poet in the Code Room
  • by John Kimmey
    • Merriam Press World War 2 Fiction Series
      • First Edition 2012
      • 216 6x9-inch pages
A war and spy novel as well as a mystery and a bildungsroman, this is the story of a poet recruited in the spring of 1943 to write poetry for coding and decoding messages in OSS, an intelligence agency.
     Jake Finny, a college senior in the reserves, believes he is escaping combat only to find to find himself dealing with a series of unexplained deaths in the Message Center.
     As he moves from Washington to Algiers to Italy, he fears for his life. He loses his best friend. He goes AWOL and seeks those committing these crimes aided by the Italian girl his friend wanted to marry.
     As the pressure on him intensifies, he is haunted by the head of Counterintelligence, a famous poet whom he can’t determine whether he is sympathetic to him or thinks he is implicated in these deaths.
     He has talked to him about the connection between poetry and counterintelligence and only later realizes to his sorrow what an important part the man has played in his life.
     The novel is not only about Jake and his situation but also about the workings of OSS and the conditions in Italy during the war


Great War story mystery which describes The US intelligence agency OSS which later became CIA, Good read for those who like mysteries and stories of World War II. Interesting connection between poetry and intelligence.
—Julia Mullen

One of the most underrated books on World War II. A deep and comprehensive look at a largely unexplored area of the "pre-CIA". Five stars and highly recommended!

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