I had the pleasure of reviewing this time-travelling novel on behalf of
American Journey Book Three
Author – John A Heldt
Pages – 295
Release Date – 14th April 2016
Available in eBook format
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Providence, Rhode Island, 2017. When doctoral student Cameron Coelho, 28, opens a package from Indiana, he finds more than private papers that will help him with his dissertation. He finds a photograph of a beautiful society editor murdered in 1925 and clues to a century-old mystery.
Within days, he meets Geoffrey Bell, the “time-travel professor,” and begins an unlikely journey through the Roaring Twenties. Filled with history, romance, and intrigue, INDIANA BELLE follows a lonely soul on the adventure of a lifetime as he searches for love and answers in the age of Prohibition, flappers, and jazz.
‘Indiana Belle’ is a time-travelling adventure by American author John A Heldt. We join the story in the present day and find our protagonist, Cameron Coelho, mesmerised by a photograph from long ago. This sets him on an adventure which sends him back in time to 1925. He manages this by painless but rather vague means. However, this is a fantasy adventure so the reader needs to suspend reality and become immersed in the tale.
I found some of the dialogue a little protracted in the beginning however, once Cameron is ensconced in 1925, the pace picks up and his dual missions take over.
Heldt has used a rather unusual technique when describing his main players; he has likened several to contemporary actors. This device is fine, but is dependent upon readers recognising the names of the stars. In my case, I hadn’t heard of one of them, so was none the wiser until I reached for the laptop.
I also must confess to knowing little about 1920s American history, so I did check that there was a Tri-State tornado on the date in question and that Pete DePaolo won the 1925 Indianapolis 500; therefore I have faith that the author has done his homework regarding historical accuracy throughout the book.
There was good use of literary tools and the tale has been well thought through and competently executed. Heldt certainly gave us a feeling of Indiana in 1925 with some good descriptive passages and has created two strong characters in Cameron and Candice. This is a gentle wholesome story with nothing to shock or offend.
The idea of time travel is a well-used premise for a plot and often leaves a lot to be desired when history starts to be re-written, so I approached the book with a degree of scepticism. However I tried not to overthink it and was pleasantly surprised. I found the story engaging and read it in two days. If you enjoy the fantasy genre, you will like this book. I award ‘Indiana Belle’ a worthy four stars.
John A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series.
The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction.
When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past, he weighs in on literature and life on his blog.