Book Four:
Tower of the Winds

Details & Summary

This adventure begins with the line… ‘Brodie Bray was about to die.’ This should make it clear that the stakes are even higher now; the drama more intense and the risk to Team Veritas the greatest it’s ever been.

Book Four involves a race against time as the Black Chamber has a sinister message for the Secret Breakers to collect. If the team don’t get the message, then someone is going to die!

As well as more action and drama, there’s more to learn in this story about the Knights of Neustria. You should also be ready to find out about another secret organization called the Cambridge Apostles which is based at Cambridge University, England.

And of course there’s lots of new codes! There’s The Shepherd’s Monument ,which you can see pictures of on this site, and Fuller’s Follies which you can check out too lower down on this page! In this instalment of the series, the codes are mostly hidden in buildings and sculptures. The Secret Breakers have to look for clues and answers in all sorts of places to try and find out more about the mysterious manuscript MS 408! And they have to do all this while trying to stay alive!

Team Veritas

We begin this adventure by welcoming a new member to the team. She certainly makes quite an entrance! You can find out more about Kitty McCloud on the Who’s Who in Book Four page.

The Codes

I had such fun with the codes in Book Four! I love the idea of written codes, but there are also lots of physical codes in this story, proving that a secret breaker needs even more skills than a code-breaker. We’ve got monument codes; reflected codes; location codes and many more, all packed into Book Four. I did warn you that you’d need greater skills as the series progressed so do check out the details about these codes on the Secrets to Break Page. But don’t forget, if you want to top up your secret breaking skills with more basic codes first, then check out the code and cipher lessons on the Team Veritas page to check you’re up to speed!

Important writings from the past

I’ve explained that lots of the codes in this story are hidden in buildings this time around. But that shouldn’t lead you to think that written codes in stories and poems aren’t important in ‘Tower of the Winds’! I introduce a new group of characters called the Cambridge Apostles and many of them were real writers and poets. I was thrilled to be able to include more work by one of my favourite writers, Tennyson, in this adventure. When I was adding details about Book Three to this site, I pointed out that Tennyson had written a beautiful epic poem about King Arthur. I included a reference to the Lady of the Lake. Well this time we have another important lady - the Lady of Shalott! She lived life by looking through a mirror! Now that’s a link to codes worth following up!

Who IS Friedman?

At the end of ‘Orphan of the Flames’ we learnt that Friedman has been keeping a very important secret from the team. In the details about ‘The Knights of Neustria’ I asked you to think about where Friedman was. Well hopefully in ‘Tower of the Winds’ you’ll have lots of answers about that and will also know a lot more about the man who is so important to the plot of the whole adventure. I hope you’re excited about what you discover!

Remember that Robbie Friedman is a character I invented, but I imagined he was a descendant of one of the greatest code-breakers who ever lived: William Friedman. Robbie’s surname then, was something I could never change! But just like Brodie’s middle name has hidden clues for us to learn from, so does the name Friedman. Was Robbie Friedman a ‘free man’ in Book Three? Team Veritas thought he was…but like the Lady of Shalott, he was locked away and his view of what was happening was distorted. He thought Brodie had forgotten him! And he wasn’t a ‘free man’ at all! It’s always exciting when a writer can use details from reality and make connections like this in an invented story. That’s what the fun of Secret Breakers is all about after all! Mixing real details with imagination!


So lots of secrets are revealed in Book Four and I hope you’ve been keeping your eyes peeled for secrets I’ve hidden in the text just for you the reader! Like the Lady of Shalott, you might just need to use a mirror to find answers! Check out your copy of the book REALLY carefully!

And extremely careful readers of ‘The Knights of Neustria’ won’t have been surprised at all to discover that Team Veritas learnt lots from statues of Shakespeare in ‘Tower of the Winds’. If this came as a shock to you then go back and look at the Author’s Note section of Book Three with a really careful eye!

Locations Visited

We are taking the team even further away from Station X at Bletchley Park in this adventure.

I got to write about some great places in London, including Westminster Abbey which is an incredible building. I also had a fabulous time including weird and wonderful locations right near my home. I hope you’re ready to take a virtual tour of Fuller’s Follies below!

Of course there’s also a secret location, which I shall tell you all about if you click on the link. Be sure to check back here when you’ve seen all there is to see at the Secret Location!

Reveal the location here

Fuller’s Follies and Functional Buildings!

When Team Veritas discover the funeral medal of Mad Jack Fuller they are given the clue they need to begin a journey across the English countryside to the heart of East Sussex. You can find out more about Mad Jack Fuller here, but perhaps what he’s most famous for is the strange follies he built. A folly is a building which is really only put up for decoration. You might say the building is ‘over the top’ or out of keeping with the area or other structures around it. Well Mad Jack loved his follies and the map that Hunter picks up shows the main ones he had built in the area of Brightling.

Let’s take a tour of the follies now!

Fuller's Follies... A Map to Madness



The Pyramid Tomb

‘It’s a pyramid,’ gasped Brodie, staggering forward across the churchyard. ‘An actual, real, ginormous pyramid. In a churchyard. An English churchyard.’ …

… ‘More to the point,’ said Tusia, ‘what’s it doing here?’ She broke free of the group and led the way through the rain towards the lower left of the graveyard and the pyramid which appeared to be bursting from the ground. The dark-grey stone structure dwarfed the gravestones jutting like teeth from the damp grass around it.
‘What in the name of Creme Egg filling is that?’ mumbled Hunter. ‘I mean, forget Mad Jack Fuller’s grave. This has got to be the maddest thing I’ve seen.’
Tusia called back to him over her shoulder. ‘We shouldn’t forget Mad Jack Fuller’s grave,’ she said.
‘Are you sure, Toots, cos it’s going to have to go a long way to beat this?’
Tusia scowled. ‘It is this.’
‘You what?’
‘I said, it is this,’ Tusia said again, slowly, as if speaking in a foreign language.
‘It’s what?’
Tusia folded her arms across her chest. ‘This is the grave of Mad Jack Fuller.

(Extract from Secret Breakers Book Four ‘Tower of the Winds.’) Show the full extract

Mad Jack Fuller didn’t die until 1834. But he wanted to be well prepared for his death…so he had a pyramid mausoleum built in 1811 in the churchyard of St Thomas a Becket in Brightling. It’s over 25 foot high and, as Hunter points out in the story, does look rather odd stuck in the middle of an English graveyard. The inscription states, ‘Paths of Glory lead but to the grave’ and this is a vital clue to the team as they piece together information about Fuller.

The Tower in the Woods

Mad Jack Fuller’s tower was almost hidden by trees. …

… It was about a quarter of a mile south-east of Brightling Park and Hunter calculated it was about ten metres high. Brodie was so excited. She couldn’t help but imagine the Lady of Shalott locked in a tower just like it and forced to look down as the world passed her by. ‘Why did Fuller build it?’ she asked as they cut their way through the trees. ‘Surely not to keep people prisoner?’
Hunter looked down at the map and the notes printed on the reverse. ‘No one’s really sure. There’s a theory that the tower was put up so Mad Jack could keep an eye on workmen who were building other things. But the dates don’t really fit.’
Brodie looked up through the shadow cast by the thick stone walls. ‘Can we get inside?’ she asked, striding towards a gated doorway. A push against the metal bars and the swing of the gate gave the answer.
Inside, the tower stretched up towards the sky and an iron staircase curled around the internal wall. A metal walkway stretched across the tower, breaking the view of the sky above into tiny squares. Hunter read more from the notes. ‘There were wooden floors,’ he said, ‘but according to this, some local boys set fire to them.’
‘Shall we climb up?’ said Tusia, making for the metal stairwell.
‘Oh no,’ groaned Sicknote, who’d only just made his way into the tower. ‘I cannot be party to any more climbing.’
Tusia was undeterred. She clambered on to the metal stairwell and pushed her way up to the opening in the roof. ‘The view’s amazing,’ she called down. ‘Come and see.’
Brodie gripped tightly to the handrail and climbed behind her friend. ‘Will it take my weight?’ she called nervously.
‘Not after that extra hot cross bun,’ yelled up Hunter.
Brodie’s hand tightened on the rail. The view from the top was beautiful. The village of Brightling stretching out in front of them framed like a picture, or a reflection in a mirror.

(Extract from Secret Breakers Book Four ‘Tower of the Winds.’) Show the full extract

People believe Fuller’s Tower was built near the end of Mad Jack’s life in the late 1820s. The tower is over 35 feet high and is to the South East of Brightling Park. You can see why Brodie thinks the tower is like the one where the Lady of Shalott was kept. The view from the top really does look like it is framed by a mirror.

The Brightling Needle

The Brightling Needle stretched about twenty metres into the air, on top of a hill known as Brightling Beacon. …

… ‘The second one in the quartet,’ panted Tusia as they circled around its base. ‘It’s sort of a tower.’
Brodie wasn’t sure. ‘Why was this here?’ she asked, her voice catching in her throat.
Hunter peered through the fading light at the notes on the map. ‘No idea. Just something he built.’
‘And something he didn’t bother to put any writing or inscriptions on,’ moaned Sheldon from his position on his knees at the base of the needle.
‘It’s just an obelisk,’ said Sicknote, joining Sheldon as he scrabbled at the base searching for any signs or plaques.
Sheldon looked at him quizzically.
‘Just a tall thing stuck in a field.’ Brodie ran her fingers through her hair. ‘But it makes no sense. Why would he build it? Where’s the message? What does it mean?’

(Extract from Secret Breakers Book Four ‘Tower of the Winds.’) Show the full extract

The Brightling Needle really does like an ancient Egyptian Obelisk, which I suppose fits in nicely with Fuller’s Pyramid Tomb! The Needle is about 65 feet high but because it’s on top of a hill it looks much taller! No one really knows why it was built and there are no messages or inscriptions on it at all!

The Rotunda Temple

‘Why would any sane man build a temple in the middle of the English countryside?’ …

… asked Sheldon as the van bumped along the narrow lane, Kitty’s motorbike following in its wake.
‘He wasn’t sane,’ cut in Hunter.
‘But why a temple?’
‘I don’t know,’ said Hunter, searching the map again for clues. ‘But the message has got to be there! The next building on the list.’
They pulled the van over to the side of the road and peered across the valley. ‘There. D’you see?’ Tusia was pointing out of the window through the beam of the headlights. ‘It looks like a Greek temple. The sort of thing the Dilettanti Society would have loved. Come on!’

(Extract from Secret Breakers Book Four ‘Tower of the Winds.’) Show the full extract

I love the shape of this building, even if it isn’t clear whether it was ever actually used as a temple. As the series of Secret Breakers continues, you’ll get to visit at least two more buildings that are shaped this way and neither of them are temples either. One is a memorial building and one is a library so keep an eye out for them in future stories. You know I like ‘the power of three’!

The Sugar Loaf

‘What on earth’s a Sugar Loaf?’ called Kitty as she hurried behind Brodie down a thin and overgrown track beside the road where she’d abandoned her motorbike. …

… Brodie tried to talk as she ran, her voice leaking out in spluttered gulps. ‘It’s a pointed building that looks like a Victorian cone of sugar,’ she said. ‘At least we know why Fuller built this one.’
‘We do?’ came Kitty’s voice from behind her.
Brodie swallowed and tried to read from the map with a torch as she hurried onwards. ‘It says Fuller once made a bet he could see the spire of St Giles church in Dallington from his home in Brightling Park. When he got home and found he couldn’t, he had builders work overnight to put up this thing that looks like a church spire so he’d win the bet. Look, see. There’s a picture of St Giles’ church spire. And here,’ she said, pushing her way through the overhanging branches, ‘is Mad Jack Fuller’s Sugar Loaf.’

(Extract from Secret Breakers Book Four ‘Tower of the Winds.’) Show the full extract

Well this folly wins the prize for having the craziest name. I think Hunter was secretly very cross not to get to check out this building but the team were in real danger and so even Hunter had to put aside his interest in all things food and let Brodie and Kitty check it out alone. Can you believe such a weird building was supposedly built in one night? I was amazed to discover that people used to live inside. It’s tiny and the bars on the window are sort of creepy!

A Home Connected to the Stars

‘There’s one more place,’ said Kitty softly. …

… ‘It’s not one of the four follies. Not something he built just for fun.’ She paused, and took the crumpled map they’d used and turned it over. ‘See. Somewhere very serious. Fuller built it for study. Because he wanted to find out all he could about how the universe worked. We’ve still got two hours. Jack Fuller’s observatory’s the only place left to try.’

(Extract from Secret Breakers Book Four ‘Tower of the Winds.’) Show the full extract

So not really part of the follies, but a building built to look at the stars. The observatory’s a private home now and can only be seen from the road.

It gave Team Veritas the clue that maybe they should be checking out places that were built for a real purpose and not just for decoration and that’s why they ended up at the secret location.

So maybe it’s time now that you checked out that location for yourself if you haven’t done so already!

Photo Challenge

And while we’re thinking about sending you off to new locations, I wonder if you’ve ever checked out any of the real Secret Breakers locations in person. If you do visit one of the places referenced in any of the books in the series, then I’d love to see a photo of you there! Why not send them here and we can add them to the site for other people to see. If you send in any photos we’ll try and reward you with Secret Breakers goodies, while stocks last, so you could win yourself posters or bookmarks! Happy snapping!