The Steady Running of the Hour
Justin Go
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Buy *The Steady Running of the Hour* by Justin Goonline

The Steady Running of the Hour
Justin Go
Simon and Schuster
480 pages
April 2014
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Just as Tristan Campbell graduates college, he receives a letter with a phone number that may change his life. The number is that of an English law firm, and they want to pay his way to London to talk with him about something possibly advantageous. At loose ends, the decision to go is not difficult.

When Tristan meets with the lawyers, they tell him a fantastic tale: he may be the recipient of a large fortune through his maternal grandmother, whom he remembers slightly. Although she was presented to the world with one set of parents, it could that she was instead raised by the sister of the real mother, Imogen Soames-Andersson. Imogen had a brief affair with Ashley Walsingham, who was later killed in a mountaineering expedition to be the first men to conquer Everest. Before he departed, he left his money to Imogen, although she had disappeared and he didn't know where she was. If she couldn't receive the money, it was to go to her descendants if they came forward to claim in in a specific frame of time. After that, the money would instead go to various charities.

Tristan is amazed, but there is more news. Although there are suggestions that he is the descendant of Imogen and Ashley, there is no documented proof. He must discover such proof to claim the fortune. He has two months to do so before the fortune reverts to the charities.

Tristan sets off to see if he can discover anything. His college degree is in history, and he knows about the time period of the affair: right in the middle of World War I. It took place immediately before Ashley was shipped to France to the Somme battlegrounds. His quest takes him from place to place; English document repositories, the battlegrounds where Ashley was stationed, Germany, and Iceland. He makes some amazing discoveries, but none seem enough to be definite proof. Can Tristan find out the truth about Ashley and Imogen?

Justin Go's intriguing tale will pique readers interested in puzzles and in family genealogy. Along the way, the reader learns about the trenches of World War I and the expeditions of men attempting to conquer Mount Everest. Those passages are especially well-researched. This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Sandie Kirkland, 2014

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