Book Review of London 2012 : What If…? by Ian C P Irvine

london what ifContemplating having an affair, bored with work, and convinced there must be something more to it all, James Quinn is a man just about to enter a mid-life crisis. James leads a successful life. But is it the right life? Instead of a Product Manager in Telecoms, should he have been a plumber, an Olympic athlete, or an artist? Life, as they say, isn’t a practice run. This is it.

Then one day, during the normal underground commute to work in London, he looks up from his book and doesn’t recognise the station name on the Jubilee Line, …and in a split-second, everything changes.

Emerging onto a platform at “New Cross Gate North”, a station that shouldn’t exist, James finds that Canary Wharf has vanished. Gone. And so have Selfridges and mobile phones.

Is the grass really greener on the other side or should he try and find a way back to his old life?

(See Amazon for a fuller description)

My Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  It is a thought that must have struck us all at one time, ‘What if…?’ or something we have idly contemplated but for James Quinn it became more than that.

Think ‘Life on Mars’ meets ‘Sliding Doors’ with a touch of Dan Brown thrown in for good measure. Loved the idea of what might have happened to James had things been different and how he dealt with his new life. The whole concept made me really wonder whether his new life was better than his old life – which one should he choose? I found myself  sympathising with his dilemma, especially as the longer he spent in his new life, the higher the stakes became.  The scenes between James and his father, I found very poignant and touching.

I thought the old professor from university was a great character. I can’t say physics was ever my subject, but there was enough in here to make the theory plausible and understandable, without it going right over my head.

There are some fun differences in James’ new life – one which brought a wry smile was the trains running on time,  always with somewhere to sit and commuters enjoying their journey. Anyone having experienced the rush hour commute into London would understand. 🙂 Other little things were threaded throughout the novel which, again, had me wondering ‘what if?’

I can’t comment too much on the ending, as this would be a terrible spoiler, suffice to say, I have spent all day thinking about it.

There are some great questions at the end to ponder and would make excellent talking points for book clubs.

So, all in all, a really thought provoking read that invokes compassion, understanding, me almost shouting at James at times and a fair bit of day dreaming on my part. Am now off to ride the Jubilee Line, after all, I know how to get back! 😉

London 2012 What if…? can be bought as two separate books or as an Omnibus edition, it was the latter I chose to read.

Links for Ian C P Irvine

ian irvine

Website www.iancpirvine.com/

Facebook : www.facebook.com/ian.irvine.3705

Twitter : @IanCPIrvine

Amazon.co.uk link HERE

Amazon.com link HERE

Got A #Kindle? Here Are My 5 Star Reviews This Year

Not sure what to download to your e-reader? Well, here are the books that got a 5 star review from me this year, together with a few I would highly recommend (click on the book cover for link to Amazon) …

My 5 Star Reviews of 2012

Never Coming Home

Never Coming Home

Sophie’s Turn

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Devils With Wings, Silk Drop

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Devils With Wings, Frozen Sun

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Shades of Appley Green

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Highly Recommend

The Silent Touch of Shadows

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Taking Charge

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Night Watcher

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The Wind Weeps

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Passenger 13 (a novella)

Passenger 13

How Do You Voodoo? (a novella)

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Thank you all for your support of my blog this year – much appreciated

Happy new year everyone and happy reading

The Silent Touch of Shadows – Christina Courtenay

What will it take to put the past to rest? Professional genealogist Melissa Grantham receives an invitation to visit her family’s ancestral home, Ashleigh Manor. From the moment she arrives, life-like dreams and visions haunt her. The spiritual connection to a medieval young woman and her forbidden lover have her questioning her sanity, but Melissa is determined to solve the mystery. Jake Precy, owner of a nearby cottage, has disturbing dreams too, but it’s not until he meets Melissa that they begin to make sense. He hires her to research his family’s history, unaware their lives are already entwined. Is the mutual attraction real or the result of ghostly interference? A haunting love story set partly in the present and partly in fifteenth century Kent. Christina Courtenay won the 2012 Best Historical Romantic novel of the year award (RoNA) for her novel, Highland Storms.

My Thoughts

The Silent Touch of Shadows is two love stories set hundreds of years apart but which overlap and weave themselves together seemlessly.  The present slips into the past and the past slides its way into the present with little effort.

I liked the way the story nipped back and forth and I was able to link up the events happening in the past to those happening in the present day.  I was initially concerned that this would be confusing but it certainly wasn’t the case.

The stories told brought different feelings at different times, sadness and despair, hope and happiness with an added bit of mystery and intrigue.  I think Sibell and Roger’s story will stay with me for a long time.

Links for Christina Courtenay

Blog http://christinacourtenay.com/?page_id=278

Website http://christinacourtenay.com/

Twitter @PiaCCourtenay

Amazon link here 

Thank you ChocLit for sending me a review copy