Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Doublespeak: A Novel (Lena Stillman, #2)” as Want to Read:
Doublespeak: A Novel (Lena Stillman, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Doublespeak: A Novel

(Lena Stillman #2)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  23 ratings  ·  16 reviews
The followup to the literate and action-packed historical thriller Speakeasy, Doublespeak finds plucky protagonist Lena on a journey back to her past.

Lieutenant Lena Stillman has been left, nearly alone, on her code-breaking mission in remote Alaska. World War II has been over for a month, but due to crimes committed a lifetime ago, Lena is still under the control of the
Hardcover, First U.S. edition, 272 pages
Published April 16th 2019 by St. Martin's Press/Macmillan Publishing (New York) (first published April 2019)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-49
Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  23 ratings  ·  16 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Doublespeak: A Novel (Lena Stillman, #2)
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Apr 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2019
Lieutenant Lena Stillman is stunned when she receives a message from a man she thought was dead. She's working in Alaska as a code-breaker and now her old lover Bill wants her to come to Siam. Not only that, he may be able to help her locate Corporal Link Hughes who she felt she betrayed. Now it seems that Bill knows where Link is. But what are his motives? And can she abandon her position in Alaska? What will her boss, spymaster Miss Maggie, say about that?

Robert Hudder
Another adventure by a woman who seems trapped but still trying to figure it out. This time, it is the spy business.

A decent read but I find it hard to call this a feminist spy thriller. I guess if you have a female protagonist who kicks against the pricks, then it is enough. Maybe it reflects a female experience but I am not one to be able to judge.

What I can say, is that the two main characters are fleshed out and feel real. While you wonder why they continue to be drawn into these dangerous
Stanley McShane
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Written in noir style, the novel is dark and intriguing using multiple first persons. Lieutenant Lena Stillman is an ex-bank robber and ended up in Shemya, Alaska at the end of WW2 as a code-breaker. Years before, Lena was part of a criminal element that was called the Clockwork Gang. There were four in the gang. Bill Bagley was the brains and two others besides herself, Byron Godfrey and Link Hughes. Bill settled in Siam and secured a lucrative enterprise. Lena feels responsible for what happen ...more
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to St Martin's Press for the free advanced copy in exchange for my honest review

It’s no secret that I love historical fiction and I love mysteries, well when you combine them then it’s a surefire hit for me. DOUBLESPEAK by Alisa Smith hit the elements from both genres that I love. This is book two in the series, but I think this read just fine as a standalone because I never felt lost. I do, however, want to go back and pick up SPEAKEASY because I’ve heard nothing but incredible things.

I love historical fiction for the simple reason that it teaches me something as well as entertains. Alisa Smith majored in history and is a former copyeditor as I am, so she cares about historical accuracy and about the written word. She is above all a fantastic writer and storyteller. It’s rare to have a second book be as good as the first, but this IS as good as her first, SPEAKEASY.

I won’t get into the plot because you can read summaries elsewhere. Suffice it to say, this book is much darker
Sherri Lewis
Mar 31, 2019 rated it liked it
*** I received an advanced e-copy from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review

This is the follow-up book to Speakeasy, and it begins with Lela code-breaking in the Alaskan wilderness right after the end of World War II. Lena gets a shocking message from someone she thought to be dead, giving Link's location as Siam. What follows is a tale of intrigue and a possible shot at Redemption for Lena.
I enjoyed Speakeasy, so I was excited to read this one. Unfortunately, I was never really able to ge
Seema Rao
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thrilling ~ Perplexing ~ Wraught

tl;dr: Spies don't get breaks in peace time.

Doublespeak follows the path of a code-breaker Lena Stillman into post-World War II South East Asia. The writing is more John Le Carre than Ian Fleming with a matter-of-factness. While this is the second book in the series, it was my first. I didn't necesarily feel lost. I did wonder for much of the book where the truth lay, and often wondered if the protagonist was reliable. But, the reader's feeling of uncertainty mig
Kathleen Gray
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
An intriguing and interesting thriller. I do wish I'd read the first novel because it likely would have made entering Lena's world easier. A former gangster turned Navy codebreaker during WWII, this outing sees her attempting to rescue Link, who she wronged. He's in "Siam," which was a real hotbed of espionage during WWII and immediately after. Those familiar with that scene will wonder who several of the characters are really. Everyone's motives are suspect and Lena doesn't trust easily, which ...more
Sarah Swedberg
Aug 10, 2019 rated it liked it
A good end-of-summer read. It's an old-timey feeling spy novel, but with a woman as one of the main characters.
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. I didn’t like this as much as the first but it was still a really good story. It takes place approximately 3 years after WWII mostly in Alaska and Siam.
nikkia neil
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was given a ARC of this book in exchange for a honest review.

Love this change of location to the far East. This is a fast paced, dangerous, exciting, and provocative novel.
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to for the ARC.

I had read the first book in the series and enjoyed all the characters. I wanted to say that I actually liked the characters even better in this second book in the series. The story moves from the Pacific Northwest to Alaska, Hawaii, and Thailand (Siam in the book). The description of the locations are phenomenal and I felt that I was in Siam in the 1940's. I enjoyed the story line and how the characters from the first book were brought back together again
Kristen McDermott
My review of this book will appear in Historical Novels Review issue 89 (August 2019)
Carol Custer
Apr 28, 2019 rated it liked it
This was more of a 'spy' novel than I usually read and I'm afraid it didn't hold my interest very well. Still, the writing is good and the characters were well-defined. Just not my favorite kind of book
Heather Bennett
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Doublespeak is the follow-up to Speakeasy and it did not disappoint. Well written and great characters. The historical detail makes you feel like you are part of the book.
Kristen McDermott
rated it really liked it
Jul 22, 2019
Andrea Wood
rated it really liked it
Dec 26, 2019
rated it really liked it
May 05, 2019
rated it really liked it
Jul 12, 2019
Margaret Mary
rated it it was ok
Jul 28, 2019
Drew Kirk
rated it did not like it
Nov 25, 2019
Andrew Code
rated it it was amazing
Jul 11, 2019
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book really touched me. I felt completely engrossed by the intricate storyline and the characters that were beautiful inside and out.
A truly marvelous piece of writing.
marked it as to-read
Jul 04, 2018
Samantha Jolly
marked it as to-read
Nov 21, 2018
marked it as to-read
Nov 24, 2018
McPhaul M.
marked it as to-read
Nov 24, 2018
marked it as to-read
Nov 27, 2018
marked it as to-read
Nov 28, 2018
marked it as to-read
Dec 07, 2018
marked it as to-read
Dec 28, 2018
marked it as to-read
Jan 01, 2019
marked it as to-read
Jan 03, 2019
marked it as to-read
Jan 14, 2019
marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2019
marked it as to-read
Feb 01, 2019
marked it as to-read
Feb 10, 2019
marked it as to-read
Feb 22, 2019
Kathleen Kelly
marked it as to-read
Feb 25, 2019
marked it as to-read
Feb 26, 2019
marked it as to-read
Feb 28, 2019
Kathy Huffey
marked it as to-read
Mar 03, 2019
marked it as to-read
Mar 09, 2019
marked it as to-read
Mar 12, 2019
Kathleen Bianchi
marked it as to-read
Mar 16, 2019
Sarah Bonamino
marked it as to-read
Mar 18, 2019
Sue Bone
marked it as to-read
Mar 23, 2019
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Department of Sensitive Crimes (Detective Varg, #1)
  • The Glittering Hour
  • The Duchess in His Bed (Sins for All Seasons, #4)
  • Utopia Limited Or, the Flowers of Progress
  • Hard Place (Hard to Love, #1)
  • Rogue Souls (Soul Charmer #2)
  • Lost Souls (Soul Charmer #3)
  • A Reckless Redemption (Spies and Lovers, #3)
  • Tamed By The Highlander
  • Stolen By The Scottish Rogue
  • The Highlander's Forbidden Bride
  • Viking's Claim (Kilts & Kisses, #4)
  • Wed To The Warrior
  • A Brazen Bargain (Spies and Lovers, #2)
  • An Indecent Invitation (Spies and Lovers, #1)
  • Hawk & the Lady (Grace Grayson Security, #2)
  • Chaos & the Geek (Grace Grayson Security, #1)
  • The Other Windsor Girl: A Novel of Princess Margaret, Royal Rebel
See similar books…
The book Plenty has different subtitles in hardcover and paperback and the Canadian edition was called The 100-Mile Diet.

Alisa Smith, a Vancouver-based freelance writer who has been nominated for a National Magazine Award, has been published in Outside, Explore, Canadian Geographic, Reader’s Digest, Utne, and many other periodicals. The books Way Out There and Liberalized feature her work.

Other books in the series

Lena Stillman (2 books)
  • Speakeasy (Lena Stillman, #1)

Related Articles

It’s time to turn your attention to something dark and twisty, to a story (or two or three) so engaging, the pages just fly by. In short, it’s...
63 likes · 10 comments