Friday, 21 September 2018

Book Review: The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton (Historical/Mystery)

Title: The Clockmaker's Daughter
Author: Kate Morton
Publisher:
Allen & Unwin

Publication Date: 12 September 2018
Pages:
592
Format:
Paperback ARC
Genre:
Historical Fiction/Mystery
Source:
Review Copy from Publisher

 


 
My real name, no one remembers.
The truth about that summer, no one else knows.

In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor on the banks of the Upper Thames. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe's life is in ruins.

Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist's sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.

Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?

Told by multiple voices across time, The Clockmaker's Daughter is a story of murder, mystery and thievery, of art, love and loss. And flowing through its pages like a river, is the voice of a woman who stands outside time, whose name has been forgotten by history, but who has watched it all unfold: Birdie Bell, the clockmaker's daughter.


I have enjoyed some of Kate Morton's previous works, so I was excited to receive an ARC of The Clockmaker's Daughter from Allen and Unwin. The story and characters caught my interest right from the start, and I enjoyed the shifting time line as we unravelled the truth of what happened piece by piece. I actually gasped out loud when I realised where things were heading (which wasn't until quite late in the story). Morton weaves the mystery carefully through the tale in a way that keeps you guessing, only for each revelation then to make you think "Of course!" It is adept storytelling of the kind that must have taken painstaking planning, which always awes a pantster-writer like me. If you like historical fiction, multi-time line narratives, and mystery, then this is a book you'll enjoy. For me, it was a solid 4.5 star read.

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