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London In The Dark (Light of London Series) (Volume 1) Paperback – March 3, 2017
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About the Author
Victoria Lynn is in her 20s and if she's not writing, she is probably sewing, singing, playing the piano, washing dishes, creating something with her hands, or learning something new. She has a passion for serving her Creator, encouraging others and being creative. She blogs at www.rufflesandgrace.com about writing, fashion, modesty, her walk with God and life. She lives in Michigan with her parents and 8 siblings.
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Top Customer Reviews
First off, (it has to be mentioned)... Obviously the author is a Sherlock Holmes fan! Other Holmesians, just like myself, will notice all the fine details interwoven into the story that are inspired by The Great Detective himself. Many times I thought to myself, "I wonder if the author meant to have this-or-that to resemble this-or-that from the original stories?" And the answer is probably yes for all my questions.
The setting is perfect. Victorian England, complete with all the right social customs, and overall well-written historical environment that seemed accurate to the time period for me. Nailed it.
The plot was intriguing, and I found a couple of really good passages in which I relished a good laugh at. Dudley is probably my favorite character (the Watson-type friend in the story). He's just a good egg and hangs in there for the long run. Cyril comes off as a bit cold (but what kind of Holmes-type character doesn't?). To quote from the book: "He enjoyed the unusual and wanted to be able to choose his jobs." Honestly, I didn't really connect well with Cyril (and I usually love the type of character he portrayed in the plot), but it was not to be this time for me. Now, to discuss Olivia, Cyril's sister. I deeply felt for this girl -- not to give away a key turning point in the plot, but she goes through a huge amount of grief and sorrow. Her faith stood out though, and one prayer in particular really resonated with me. She whispers these words to her Savior: "Help me, help me to say that I bless you, even in this darkness, even when it's so hard." Also, I rather fell in love with Olivia's pets. It's not too often you meet a character who truly enjoys spending time with her wide assortments of animals, and it was rather cute to read about.
There is a quality Christian theme running throughout the plot. It definitely wasn't an afterthought to have the religious element into the plot, because it's so natural for it to be there. I truly appreciate how the author added it in, because I felt like the faith element is really the glue to the whole story, and I probably wouldn't have liked the book as much without it.
I like that there didn't have to be a romance in order for the story to be interesting. I get aggravated a lot when just about every book you pick up is more or less a romance novel (even in disguise). This one stands in the gap though. A good mystery, plus some stirring drama or emotion, is all you really need for a clincher.
Who would enjoy it? Well, anyone up for a good Victorian mystery, I'd say. I could even recommend it for some kids/teens. Just as a caution, there is some violence (including some gunshots) and vaguely mentioning drinking/smoking. Still, I'd consider it a "clean" read. And an enjoyable one too.
London in the Dark by Victoria Lynn is an exciting, mysterious story of estranged family members and baffling robberies. Though I do have some negatives (as I shall reveal below), it was a great novel that I really enjoyed and couldn't wait to see what happened next.
I found the beginning to be a little slow, but once it got going, it packed a powerful punch! There were several twists I couldn't believe, and some things (not noted here because of spoilers) broke my heart. The end was fantastic! A few times I was a bit confused as to what was going on, but it was a mystery, after all, and I soon caught on.
I was also a little confused by the epilogue as it skipped forward quite a bit and seemed to jam a lot of information into one place, but I'm guilty of that in my own writing (I like to see my stories tied up in a nice, neat bow!), so how can I complain?
I sometimes got them mixed up (my fault ...), but the characters were, overall, quite interesting. Let's taking a look at a few of them.
Cyril: he annoyed me for the greater portion of the book. I was so angry with him. How dare he be so cold and cruel, so unfeeling, so evil? I felt that Cyril was the real villain and didn't sympathize with him one bit. I could see absolutely no reason for it. He just seemed to be mean for no reason in particular. But then I learned about what happened, and I understood. Still, I wish it could have been hinted at a little more all along.
Olivia: I'm not emotional, so you'd think I wouldn't get along well with Olivia, but she was really a sweetheart. I loved her dedication to her piano-playing, and how her emotions seemed to guide her playing. However, she did make some really stupid decisions that made me angry at her.
Dudley: I'd heard of the official Dudley fan club, and I entered this book curious ... but knowing that I'm already in love with Gil, so there's no need for me to fall for another book character. Well, I didn't fall exactly, but I can see why girls love him. He's really cool and fun to read about.
Mrs. Hobbs: WHO DOESN'T LOVE THIS LADY!? She's hilarious and endearing and sweet.
I'm not going to list anymore (mostly because I would probably give away spoilers and partially because I don't want this post to be too long), but, for the most part, they were all well-developed and interesting, even though I didn't love all of them.
I found it difficult sometimes to remember what era we were in. It seemed modern at times ... or at least a couple decades later. However, the description was excellent and I did get a good feel for the appearance of the characters, etc.
I feel a little bad about saying this, but I felt like the writing was weak. Don't get me wrong: the style was good (amazing, even ... I really enjoyed it!). There was nothing to complain about in the author's style.
However, this book needed editing. Punctuation rules seemed to be basically ignored, there were several typos, and lots of awkward/hard to understand sentences. It wasn't awful ... but it did detract from the story.
[Note: I was just informed by the author that the copy I have was not the completed version. I wasn't aware of this fact - probably wasn't paying close enough attention - and so there are probably no typos, punctuation mistakes, or other writing errors in this book any longer.]
Violence: mentions of death and dying and a (somewhat described) death. Several people are shot/wounded in another manner. Stores are blown up though no one is hurt (I don't think).
Parental guidance suggested for more sensitive middle-graders due to violence. Okay for all ages.
A decent story with an intriguing plot, interesting characters, and a great writing-style, this novel needed some work in as far as editing and setting goes, but was amazing in every other way. I'd definitely recommend it to any lover of a good mystery with well-rounded characters and a positive Christian message.
~Kellyn Roth, @reveriesreviews.wordpress.com/
I had a harder time fitting the story into a time period in my mind even after I knew what year it was. Perhaps that was because I haven't read many books that take place in England.
The detective didn't seem very smart for someone who had solved such hard cases. It was starting to bother me that he never sat down and really thought and pondered the clues he had, that he was always racing here and there in what seemed a haphazard way, and never solving anything or putting two and two together until it was basically solved for him. Maybe it was because of things that had happened to him.
The other thing that was getting to me was the lack of "how" things happened. I can't tell much without spoiling things, but events and situations would take place, yet the reader isn't ever quite sure how some of them could have happened.
The ending was as I had predicted with the exception of the minister. That made me raise an eyebrow and wonder a bit, but most of the ending I really liked and it made this story a three star.
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