By John Heldt
If you could time travel back to April 1865 and foil the plans of John Wilkes Booth, would you do it? Should you?
Those are some of the questions raised in this delightful historical fiction novel by John Heldt. The U.S. Civil War comes alive in this captivating and clever high octane novel in a skillful blend of historical fiction, suspense, gentle romance, and what ifs?
Virginia physicist Mark Lane learns that his evil and corrupt business partner, Robert Devereaux, plans to use his time box invention for nefarious purposes. To stop Devereaux, Mark wreaks havoc on Janus Enterprise software just before he and his clever and resourceful wife, Mary, and their four children activate their time boxes and escape to 1865 Virginia.
The Lanes soon realize that a key to one of their two time boxes is missing. They can’t time travel forward or back without it. So son Jordan, a former Army ranger, sets out to retrieve it. But he and the rest of the Lanes are being stalked by Devereux’s hired assassin, Silas Bain. After Bain kills two Union sentries, Jordan is mistaken for the murderer. On the run from Union troops as a murder suspect, Jordan stumbles into the farm house of Rebecca Maine, a pretty Civil War widow.
Meanwhile, Mark has been arrested and jailed as Confederate spy. His time box has been confiscated by the Union army. It’s under lock and key in Secretary of War Edwin Stanton’s office. Stanton won’t return the box without Lincoln’s authorization.
The April 1865 clock is running as the time-traveling Lanes are “acutely aware” that John Wilkes Booth isn’t the only assassin who’s closing in. Can they spring Mark out of jail before Bain finds them? Can Jordan retrieve the missing key before Bain does? Can they warn Mr. Lincoln without derailing history? Should they? Will their new friends risk everything to help them? And what about Jordan and Rebecca, “sweethearts from different centuries”? Is a single shiny Lincoln penny Jordan’s bridge to the future, or something else?
Set in northern Virginia during the final days of the U.S. Civil War, The Lane Betrayal is the first book in the Time Box saga. It’s a veritable freight train of a story, steaming down the tracks between past and present. In fact, reading The Lane Betrayal is like being launched in history by a trebuchet. A really good one. I’d buckle up ‘fize you.
A Clear Winner
Tightly written with pitch-perfect pacing, The Lane Betrayal is a highly engaging, intriguing blend of history, drama, intrigue, romance and adventure. A clear winner. You’ll love it!
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