Just a middle-brow reader who loves a good story, recipe or how-to.
David Moore’s Stonebridge Conspiracy is by far one of the best historical fiction books I have read this year. From the beginning of the prologue Moore establishes a sense of place and time with small details and a very direct, almost spare, writing style. The story takes us from the small town of Stonebridge, New York, to the horrors of the battlefields of World War I France and back, complete with a detour through an opium den in New York’s Chinatown. This journey is filled with adventure, danger, ambition and conspiracy. And within that journey is also a story of faith, loyalty, love and possibilities.
In the first chapters of the book, I felt a bit wary of the writing and the storyline. My first concern was unfounded, as what I mistook as a negative depiction of females was the author successfully portraying two women’s shallow and egotistical characters. My second concern, and what had me putting the book down several times, was a sense of impending harm to the main character, Jake McCleary. Jake was an instantly likeable character, and I just didn’t want anything to happen to him.
Stonebridge Conspiracy is one of those books that I find difficult to review without telling the whole of the plot. As the first self-published book that I have read, as far as I am aware, it was a wonderful surprise to find a fully formed story with no need of an editor or proofreader’s hand.
Though I did set this book down several times (the descriptive depiction of the horrors of the front lines had me setting it aside for a short time), I kept coming back to it, and I am glad I did. This is definitely going onto my re-read shelf, alongside Laurie Loewenstein’s Unmentionables, another fantastic World War I era historical fiction novel and the one that peaked my interest in reading about the era.
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author, through the GoodReads First Reads program. All opinions are my own, including the opinion that my review does the book justice.