What Can a London Opera Star and an Escaped Dartmoor Prisoner Have in Common?
Opera star Maggie Lee escapes her opulent lifestyle when threatened by a powerful politician who aims to ruin her life. She runs off to the wilds of the moors to live in anonymity. All that changes the day she discovers a half-dead man near her house. Escaped convict Oliver Ward is on the run to prove his innocence, until he gets hurt and is taken in by Maggie. He discovers some jewels in her possession—the very same jewels that got him convicted. Together they hatch a plan to return the jewels, clearing Oliver’s name and hopefully maintaining Maggie’s anonymity.
This nuanced if clunky tale of redemption and grace from Griep (The Noble Guardian), set in 1861 England, thrills with its gothic atmosphere. Opera singer Maggie Dosett, attempting to live an anonymous life, has made a home for herself and two servants in a small house in Lydford, a place where all three can feel safe, after a politician threatened to ruin her reputation, claiming she had broken a contract. That safety only lasts until Oliver Ward, recently escaped from Dartmoor Prison, makes his appearance in dire need of aid. Oliver and Maggie soon learn they are connected upon realizing that the same politician searching for Maggie had framed Oliver for a robbery he didn't commit. Believing there is a deeper conspiracy than she realized, Maggie works to help Oliver clear his name in order to finally find freedom for herself, and all the while they both try to live by their faith. Griep's plot is rewardingly intricate, but it has an unfortunate tendency to get bogged down by excessive detail and jarring shifts in tense and voice. Readers who can stick through the bumpy parts will find plenty to enjoy.
True justice starts with repentance
Justice is not free...someone must pay.
What an incredible book, certainly one you will not put down until you have finished, so be sure you have no other plans for your day! Oliver Ward finds himself in Dartmoor Prison for a crime he did not commit. Figuring the only way out of this situation is to escape and then clear his name, he starts to plan. That is when things start to get very difficult. Maggie Lee is living at the end of the moor incognito, having run away from a promising career for reasons yet to be discovered.
Between danger and intrigue the mystery surrounding these wonderful characters starts to unfold. Will the revenge they seek bring them happiness in the end? As they try to resolve their difficulties they begin to realize that the justice they so earnestly seek must be paid by someone, just as God nailed those injustices on the One who did not deserve it. They must resolve relationships before justice can happen. I loved the growth and change seen in Oliver and also Barrow, the Constable. The author shows that repentance is the key to real change.
This copy was received through Barbour Publishing, NetGalley and CelebrateLit. The comments and impressions are my own and were in no way solicited.