The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray by Oliver R. Simmonds

If you have been on the blog in the past, you know how hard I am on time travel narratives… Right away, I will let you know: there was no dizziness felt while reading this book… no nausea, no bad dreams. Only a strong pull to follow the action! I was impressed with Simmonds rendering of the time travel element ūüĎć

Poor William Wells…an idle American with questionable visa status living in London. He’s hanging on tightly to his girlfriend and this relationship may be strained. Will has tried his hand at house painting and several other jobs, but is really stuck without any prospects. Until he’s pulled through time and into a decades old conspiracy!

It all starts when he sets out to find a gift for Abigayle. A small shop of curiosities becomes the scene of both a discovery and a murder. Will picks up an interesting watch, one he believes will be perfect for the gift, but what makes it even more mysterious is when he witnesses the shop owner beginning killed directly after the purchase. Things only get more complicated when he brings it back to Abigayle’s place and she seems to evaporate into thin air in the process of examining the watch. Now, Will is suspected of murder and in the disappearance of his fianc√©e.

Only then does he realize that there may be larger forces working against him… at the same time he is trying to escape capture and maybe death, he needs to find out what happened to Abigayle.

(Short Interlude: Dials are turned. Knobs are twisted. A button is pushed. Poof… the time travel timepiece transports its operator to the past or to the future. —- It works well. I was able to buy in/ to suspend my disbelief immediately. No detailed explanation of the science or the magic, just the simple machinations of the mysterious device.)

And the chase begins… with clues passed through time, Will is sent flailing throughout the 20th century and beyond trying to piece together the puzzle.

sThis book reminded me a little of a Mike Chen book. The relationships and characters take center stage and while some of the plot point definitely rely on science fiction elements, it’s not what holds the story together. I was turning the pages to the end… a very good scifi thriller!

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Thank you to the author for an advanced copy for review.

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