In this gripping sequel to The Dark Unwinding (2012), Katharine Tulman seeks a discreet shelter for her uncle in Paris but instead finds intrigue and danger in the court of Napoleon III.
After a midnight attempt to kidnap Uncle Tully leaves two men dead, Katharine realizes that Stranwyne Keep can no longer protect him from the avaricious interest of the British and French governments, which both covet the military applications of his ingenious clockwork creations. She fakes her uncle’s death and flees with him to Paris, where she also hopes to learn the fate of her beloved, Lane Moreau. Thanks to the machinations of adversaries old and new, her careful plans almost immediately begin to unravel. Katharine’s astute first-person narration beguiles readers; in Cameron’s polished prose, scenes of social fencing are just as dramatic as passages of intense action. New secondary characters deepen mysteries and provide welcome touches of humor. Though the sequel provides enough detail to stand alone, the story will resonate most fully with readers who are familiar with Katharine’s romance with Lane and her bond with Uncle Tully.
This absorbing, intelligent adventure will reward Cameron’s faithful readers—and may also win her some new ones. (Historical suspense. 13 & up)