I connected with this series on the last book, An Hour Unspent, which is book 3 in Shadows Over England. It doesn’t require reading the previous two books, but, I am intending to read both shortly! The characters are delightful and the context fascinating.

The theme is time and it runs through the narrative and descriptions as well as creating a clever metaphor for each of the characters. I particularly enjoyed Barclay, his honesty, dedication and quick wit. Evalina grew on me, as I came to understand her better. Whilst World War One is the backdrop, the war itself isn’t described in detail. The focus is on covert operations and outthinking the enemy. Whilst interesting, I found the relationship between Barclay and his orphans the part of the novel I enjoyed most. The brutalities of life of the poor in London isn’t overlooked but the tone is hopeful.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and give it five out of five on the en-JOY-ment scale.

From the back cover:

Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence, but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge–and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger–and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from Bethany House Publishers through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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