This is a strange novel, a fantasy set in the 1920s and the 1990s. The story involves two brothers who both love the same woman, Eleanor Raines, a promising young actress in London’s East End. Seth Lockwood, the elder brother, is as mean and nasty as they come. His love is more a desire to possess Eleanor, rather than to treasure her. Isaiah, the younger brother, loves her purely. However, Eleanor and Seth suddenly disappear, never to be seen again. Isaiah spends the rest of his life trying to find them.
This obsession passes on to his son and then down the line to Josh Raines; yes, Isaiah changed his last name to Raines when he married Eleanor’s sister. And yes, Josh takes up the task of searching for Eleanor and Seth.
Flash-forward to the 1990s and you’ll find Josh reading Isaiah’s confession, explaining his wild theory about Eleanor being somehow kidnapped by Seth. Josh is mildly intrigued, but becomes more so when a young Seth look-alike shows up at Josh’s grandfather’s funeral. Slowly putting the clues together, Josh discovers an unbelievable secret that involves magic—real magic.
The story is compelling but perhaps over-written. The constant rhetorical questions begin to grate on the nerves, especially when they are repeated frequently. Let the action happen. Unusual and perhaps reminiscent of Clive Barker’s Weaverworld.