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A Time of Secrets by [Burrows, Deborah]
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A Time of Secrets Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 362 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product description

Product Description

1943 is a dangerous time to fall in love...

In wartime Melbourne loose lips sink ships, so when Australian Women's Army sergeant Stella Aldridge overhears soldiers whispering about a revenge killing, she follows her instincts to investigate, despite finding herself drawn to one of the soldiers, the enigmatic Staff Sergeant Eric Lund.

But the world is at war and there is little time for romance. Someone in the Australian Intelligence Bureau is trading secrets and it's up to Stella and her uncompromising superior officer, Lieutenant Nick Ross, to find the traitor.

When Eric's team is scheduled to be deployed in a dangerous mission to the South West Pacific, Stella races to uncover the truth or risk not only Eric's life, but the security of Australia itself. Torn between protecting the ones she loves and her duty to her country, Stella chooses to pursue the truth at all costs.

Even if it means putting herself in the firing line...


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1038 KB
  • Print Length: 362 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Australia (1 March 2015)
  • Sold by: Macmillan (AU)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00QGEA20M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #108,812 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Format: Kindle Edition
A Time of Secrets is the third novel by Deborah Burrows and the third set in World War II, though this one boasts a change of scenery and is set in Melbourne as opposed to Perth as were the previous two. I read and loved A Stranger In My Street back in 2012 so was thrilled to see this one come across my desk. It took me longer to get to than I would have liked but I think the timing ended up perfect. I read it in the week leading up to ANZAC day and I sit writing this on the eve of ANZAC day when we are all remembering the brave men and women that fought for our country.

In wartime Melbourne there are army uniforms everywhere, both American and Australian. The world is at war and in Melbourne the fighting is often between the Australians and the Americans as the Americans woo Australian women with public displays of affection and gifts that the Australians just can’t get their hands on in this time of rationing.

Burrows has woven an intricate tale of romance, intrigue and history that is difficult to put down. To then discover that parts of the narrative were modelled on an actual intelligence mission and an actual branch of the Allied Intelligence Bureau made the book that much more captivating.

Stella Aldridge is a sergeant in the the Australian Women’s Army working at the APLO (Australian Pacific Liaison Office), a department widely believed to be about spreading propaganda; which is only one of their roles. The more important role is the organisation of intelligence gathering missions in enemy territory.
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Format: Kindle Edition
A Time of Secrets is Deborah Burrows' third wonderful novel blending Australia's wartime history with mystery and romance.

While Burrows previous novels take place in Perth, A Time of Secrets is set in Melbourne in 1943. Australian Women's Army sergeant Stella Aldridge is out shopping with her roommate and colleague, Dolly, when she overhears a whispered conversation in Malay between a group of Australian soldiers. Concerned with the implications she alerts her boss at the APLO, The Australian Pacific Liason Office, only to be drawn into a covert investigation headed by her superior officer, Lieutenant Nick Ross.

As Stella and her colleagues work to uncover the identity of the traitor sabotaging the Australian war effort they have to negotiate the politics of the APLO. I enjoyed the intrigue of the storyline and learning a little more about the war effort. In this, as in both of Burrows previous novels, A Stranger in My Street and Taking a Chance, Burrows' brings to life the experiences and contribution of women during wartime in Australia.

A minor subplot focuses on Stella's roommate Dolly, and the secrets she is keeping both from her fiance and Stella, while a second involves an axe wielding murderer stalking women in Melbourne. The theme of domestic violence is prominent in the novel. as is violence on the home front in general.

There is romance for Stella with the enigmatic soldier Staff Sergeant Eric Lund. A special operative, his life is at risk if the rumours of a traitor imbedded within the APLO are true. Stella's attraction to Lund is complicated by his capability for violence, her first husband who was killed in action physically abused her, and she is wary.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed A Time of Secrets. It is set in Melbourne, Australia in WW2. The story, as the title suggests, is full of seccrets. Deborah Burrows historical research is excellent and filtered through the story seamlessly. I love reading books which contain facts about history that I didn’t know before and Time of Secrets is full of them. An excellent read which will keep you turning the pages, and if you, like I do, read in bed at night it will keep you turning the pages long after you should have turned out the light. This is a five star book.

Elise McCune
Writer
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
like all her books but would like a bit more personal life story
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great storytelling 4 May 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Nobody could be more startled than me when declaring that A TIME OF SECRETS was a most enjoyable book to read. Startled because ostensibly it looks, feels, smells like a romance. With an historical bent, and some mystery within.

Certainly in reading this book the romance is foremost in the narrative, equalled by the difficulties of living within war-footing Melbourne, followed eventually by the mystery of the traitor within the ranks of the Australian Intelligence Bureau. What makes that balance work is probably the historical background though. Romance in that day makes sense. With the world being turned on its head, and the possibility that anyone could be lost, dead or captured overseas at any point, the idea that people want a personal connection is understandable. This author covers these aspects with restraint, making her characters stumble often enough to make them realistic and certainly not soppy or idealistic. The central character of Stella Aldridge is part of the strength. A woman widowed during the war, she's not exactly grieving a violent and nasty husband, but sad about the manner of his death, and the failure of her marriage. Her wariness with that background is understandable, as is her very human desire to get it right a second time around. Stella's no victim despite what has happened to her in the past. She's also no fool and (eventually) is able to pick the wolves from the hounds. The potential of a love triangle here is intriguing as well.

It's not a one hander story though and there are a number Aldridge's colleagues at the AIB who get a good airing. There's plenty of professional, as well as romantic tension in the AIB amongst many men and women vying for each other's attention. Aldridge's flatmate adds a level of mania with her ongoing relationship with her American beau constantly threatened by her dalliances with other men, although the standout character at home is the downstairs neighbour, Mrs Campbell who is fun, wise, cheeky and a great, if not slightly vague observer.

Within the mystery elements, there's a traitor being sought, and much of that quest is being done in secret. Specialist overseas missions - particularly into Papua New Guinea and nearby are going pear-shaped with the Japanese Army having specific and dangerous knowledge about what the Allies are up to. It could be that this traitor is very high up in AIB management, but there are clues in radio transcripts and the processing of information that eventually point Aldridge and her boss Nick Ross in the right direction. There's an interesting pointer in the back of the book that explains the real life situation that much of that mystery is based on. Obviously for this reader, once we got to this part of the plot things improved greatly and the way that the traitor was identified - and many of the little clues that indicated something was indeed badly wrong in the communications transmissions - were fascinating.

Throughout the book there are lots of other connections, a shared love of architecture and the descriptions of war-footing Melbourne, from the camps in parks in South Yarra, and the Toorak mansions seconded to house military groups, through to the brownout and the nightlife that people were determined to pursue in the face of rationing and shortages.

Goes to show that when the story's really well researched and told with great passion and authority, even something that has such a hefty dose of romance can work for a reader whose preference is normally to walk somewhere much darker than Melbourne in a 1943 brownout.

[...]
4.0 out of 5 stars A new outlook on Melbourne 12 April 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really great reading a book set in your own home town. I could really visualise Melbourne in the war time and what it must have been like for families in that era. Well written and researched. Having been to Airlie house in a very different era, I have a new outlook on significant buildings in Melbourne and what took place inside them.
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, believable storyline 23 July 2015
By V Fowler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good read, believable storyline, but some of the relationships and dialogue were too modern. Whilst there were affairs etc during WWII most of them were secret too!

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