The Kingdom of Ohio
Amy Einhorn Books (Putnam), Dec 31 2009, $24.95
In Los Angeles, the elderly antiques dealer has worked for two years on mystery of the photograph he obtained. The picture is that of Peter Force Cheri- Anne Toledo, taken in 1901.
In 1900 Peter came from Idaho to work in the hazardous digging of the subways tunnels beneath the city. Cheri-Anne is a mathematical genius with bizarre memories that seem not of this time and place. They meet accidentally; at least that is what it seemed to Peter. When she insistently claimed to be the daughter of the ruler of the Kingdom of Ohio who traveled in time, he assumed she was crazy. However, he also is attracted to her and soon begins to believe her fantastic tale when others seem overly interested in her including combatant inventors and warring financiers. Soon he will understand that past, present and future of time and place is relevant to the individual as all converge either to conflict or deconflict if free will is meaningful; just like the note left behind “CROATOAN”.
This is a superb time travel romantic suspense thriller that takes a deep look at the sordid underbelly, literally as well as figuratively, side of New York during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The story line is fast-paced in spite of the cerebral underpinnings as fans will relish the tour of the city as rarely seen in novels while being escorted by two strong lead protagonists and enhanced by the real persona they encounter. Matthew Flaming provides a great, intelligent yet exciting thriller.