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Doublespeak : A Novel
St. Martin's Press

Doublespeak : A Novel

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Author(s): Alisa Smith

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 powerful Miss Maggie.

Shaken by her role in the disappearance of Corporal Link Hughes—and by her own misjudgment of his character—Lena yearns for an opportunity to redeem them both. Then she receives a shocking message containing Link’s potential location: Siam. Embarking on a clandestine rescue mission to Bangkok, Lena is reunited with shadows from her past—including loyal friend Byron who is eager to escape his safe, dull life and the attractive yet dangerous “William Yardly.” As personal and political allegiances shift in the postwar maelstrom, it seems impossible to know who is good or bad, innocent or culpable and whether they are motivated by love or revenge.

Overlaying rich historic detail and an intricate plot, Doublespeak is an entrancing sequel to Alisa Smith’s first novel Speakeasy, which received the honor of being a Walter Scott Prize Academy recommended book of 2018.


"Smith regales the reader with a tale of adventure and intrigue, meticulously anchored in its place and time."—Publishers Weekly

"The mood is spot-on, and the stage is set for more globe-trotting espionage to come."—Booklist

Praise for Speakeasy:

"Alisa Smith's novel Speakeasy, set in the thirties and forties, is written with great authority and from two different points of view, that of a man, and of a woman he loves from what turns out to be a necessary safe distance: she's the girlfriend of a gangster he travels with. She is also the other protagonist. It's a wonderful read, and very convincing." —Richard Bausch, author of Something is Out There and Peace

"A great achievement, and pure pleasure. Speakeasy drew me into its wild heart and didn’t let go. The novel’s two narrators give a stereoscopic take on a life of crime during the Great Depression, and one of them—a bold, brilliant, somewhat unscrupulous young woman—is later recruited to crack Japanese codes at a secret Allied base in the Pacific Northwest." —Ronald Wright, author of The Gold Eaters and A Short History of Progress

“In Alisa Smith’s Speakeasy, the history of the Pacific Northwest comes alive like you’ve never seen before. This gripping tale of Prohibition gangsters and wartime code-breakers reveals an inner world of shifting loyalties and unrequited love. Smith has crafted a fascinating, thought-provoking narrative that dares you to look away.” —Brian Payton, author of The Wind Is Not a River

"A sizzling tale of a one-time criminal now turned war hero--but what I like best is the all too rare telling of a World War II story through the eyes of a woman." —Colin Beavan, author of Operation Jedburgh: D-Day and America's First Shadow War.

ISBN:  9781250097859