I picked this book up as it was chosen as book of the month for Goodread's Amazon Kindle group. Described a a genealogical crime mystery it sounded like a good book for me, one of my favourite genres combined with a particular interest of mine. It also has elements of historical fiction, another plus.
American genealogist Jefferson Tayte is packed off to England to finish off his latest assignment, the family tree to be a birthday present for the client's wife. JT thinks the worst part of the trip will be the flight, little does he know that he will be uncovering a dark secret that has lain hidden for centuries - one that will endanger his life. Primarily based in Cornwall, moving between the present and the 18th century, JT's research leads him to a wooden box once owned by a tragic young woman. This one little box unleashes a series of dramatic events.
At points in the book I found myself having to flick backwards and forwards trying to remember who was related to whom and how, but as I got into the book this largely ceased to be a problem. The moves in time were no problem though, they were smooth and well done. The plot contained a lot of twists and turns both in the past and present and I liked how the stories mirrored one another in certain ways. It certainly kept me thinking throughout. However, and this is a purely personal thing that probably wouldn't bother most people, I wasn't keen on the final twist that finally revealed the big secret. It's impossible to explain why without turning this into a huge spoiler!
I liked JT, and enjoyed having an unlikely hero who wasn't perfect, physically or otherwise. I also enjoyed the irony that despite his job he hadn't been able to uncover his own family history. There was a colourful cast of characters and knowing a lot of the places mentioned in the book I enjoyed the Cornish scene setting that captured the area well.
I am struggling on how to rate this book, it is well-paced, well-written and I would like to see more adventures for JT. However the resolution really made me go eurgh. For me that probably took it from a 4* to a 3* but I'm sure other people will respond to it differently.
Format: Kindle, bought by me