The Steady Running of the Hour by Justin Go (4 out of 5)
It’s 2004 and Tristan Campbell gets a summons to London for a meeting with a lawyer. It’s said to be a matter of importance, so he goes, having no idea what this is about, but intrigued enough that he feels he must see what this is about. What it is about is this: Tristan is quite possibly the heir to Imogen Soames-Anderssson’s estate. Despite having little or no evidence of this, Tristan is told he is under the gun as far as time that he has to prove this before the inheritance just disappears. Imogen’s story is quite the story. Back in 1924, she was the intended and former lover of Ashley Walsingham, an English mountaineer who dies trying to climb Mt Everest. Eighty years go by before Tristan is summoned and swept into what was an epic love story gone horribly wrong. Now the clock is ticking away, and only he can try to unravel this house of secrets. In his search for the truth of what happened to Ashley and Imogen’s love story that they were estranged at his time of death, as well as what may have happened to Imogen after that, Justin goes about his mission, but he also ends up discovering lost parts of himself in the process. Justin Go has written one hell of a sweeping love story, historical fiction, and a tale of a young man lost in his own life who happens to discover the real him while trying to unravel this age old mystery. That ending? That ending really didn’t endear itself to me, but perhaps in time, it will be reread and the slight dislike of it will vanish into acceptance and a new light. As of right now, I really did not care for that ending. At all.
There was only one thing that really bothered me about this book, and that was the ending. Otherwise, Tristan is a likable fellow and character; Ashley, through flashbacks, also an ambitious young man, sometimes to the point of stupidity, and ultimately, costing him his life. I liked the character of Ashley but wanted to smack him several times. Character and plot development, not an issue. You’re dragged into this story quickly and don’t put it down until the end…but then the end leaves you with more questions. That’s the only issue this novel had, at least for this reader. G