Monday, 21 November 2011

The Long Second by Marshall Buckley

What Would You Change?
review by Maryom

Have you ever watched the second hand of a clock really closely? Ever noticed that sometimes it seems to take just a little bit too long to move on? Tony has discovered a remarkable thing, when that second hand takes a little too long to move, he can jump back in time.
Tony's family is wealthy but decidedly dysfunctional - his father is nothing more than a financial crook, his mother lives solely to shop, his elder brother is a total sleaze and his younger sister the stroppy teen to outdo all stroppy teens! The only person to hold them together is Manuela, the mysterious, unswervingly loyal housekeeper that most of the family treat like a doormat.
When his dad's dodgy financial dealings finally catch up with him and the family lose their cushy life and large house, Tony tries to set things right by jumping back in time and scooping a lottery jackpot. Then he realises that it's possible to do other things by nipping back in time - like saving a life - or two.

A very clever idea, though with shades of Groundhog Day about it, and possibly one of the best endings to a novel that I've read but I found the telling of the tale a little uneven - at times it grabbed my attention, at others it dragged. In part this may have been due to reading The Long Second as an e-book on a little net browser - it takes a long while to find the spot you left the book at and the pages don't turn nicely. It all makes for disrupted reading and my appreciation could have suffered as a result.
Despite the excellent ending the story arc seemed rather unfinished leaving many ends trailing. I've since discovered that The Long Second is the first book of a trilogy so perhaps these untidied ends will be dealt with later on.

Buy The Long Second from Amazon - self-published e-book

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