Knopf. Feb. 2016. 528p. ISBN 9781101946824. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101946831. F
OrangeReviewStarThis complex, entertaining tale from British novelist Pears (An Instance of the Fingerpost) involves time travel, British spies betraying one another, and apocalyptic scenarios all folded together in a number of interconnected story lines. Closest to our times is Henry Lytten, an old Oxford scholar, amateur author, and part-time spy for the British government. Unbeknownst to him, his friend Angela Meerson is really a psychomathematician who has invented a time machine of sorts and has traveled to Henry's time, roughly the 1960s, to escape betrayal and maybe death many years in the future. With her invention, she has created another universe called Anterwold, drawing on ideas from a novel Henry is writing. A young girl who lives near Henry and sometimes feeds his cat has accidentally stepped into this world and has started up the machinations of several plots and love affairs. Angela is being hunted on many fronts, in many parallel universes, and the powerful leader from her time is anxious to get his hands on her machine to use for his own ends.
VERDICT Pears weaves a diverse group of characters and multiple worlds from the idyllic to the Orwellian to create an impressive and quite enjoyable mystery fantasy. [See Prepub Alert, 8/24/15.]
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