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What Time Devours    by A. J. Hartley order for
What Time Devours
by A. J. Hartley
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2009 (2009)
* * *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

Here is an action-packed literary mystery with a fascinating premise guaranteed to entertain almost everyone, even readers with a phobic aversion to anything with the word literary included in the description.

When What Time Devours begins, the high school English teacher Thomas Knight (seen previously in the author's On the Fifth Day) wastes no time getting himself involved in pulse-pounding, fast-paced adventures. Almost immediately, a woman is murdered outside Knight's home near Chicago. Then - quicker than you can say 'The game’s afoot' - Knight is on the trail of what might be a late 16th century copy of a lost play by William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Won.

The clues, red herrings, and dangers rapidly accumulate: locked rooms, missing papers, people with guns and bludgeons, 17th century noblemen exiled from France, vintner's secrets, a former U.S. president and a television series, Elizabethan urban legends, skeletons in the cupboards, homicidal maniacs, children killed in a fire, popular authors (with and without talent), academicians (with and without scruples), a manuscript that might contain an earth-shattering secret, love lost and love regained, more duplicity than even Sherlock Holmes could have seen through, and - of course - murder.

What you as a reader have in the highly recommended What Time Devours is a top-notch quest tale filled with excitement and 'a body count worthy of Hamlet.' A. J. Hartley's fabulous new thriller follows in the impressive wake of his two earlier outings (Mask of Atreus and On the Fifth Day). The bottom line is this: Harley is a first-rate novelist (and a university professor of Shakespeare), and his latest novel is an absolute winner, so don't miss it!

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