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Virtual Evil    by Jana G. Oliver Amazon.com order for
Virtual Evil
by Jana G. Oliver
Order:  USA  Can
Dragon Moon, 2008 (2008)
Paperback, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

Crashing Victorian dinner parties is all part of an honest day's work for Senior Time Rover Jacynda ('Cynda') Lassiter. With her knowledge of the time period, blending in to find the target of her latest assignment shouldn't be a problem.

Only what starts out as a rather mundane get-together involving some of London society's most notable personages soon escalates into a full-blown crisis when someone pulls a gun and aims it in the direction of the future King of England. Cynda's training kicks in, and before she can think better of it, she disarms the would-be murderer much to the horror of the Victorian guests, who balk at seeing a woman act in such a blunt way. Cynda's problems escalate when she realizes that the murderous guest is none other than Harter Defoe, the renowned Time Rover she's been sent back in time to find.

Now it's up to Cynda to locate Harter and return him to the future, or spend a decade in prison. Obviously, failure isn't an option. If only history would take its written course and not veer off its rightful path. Unfortunately, that's not to be. To protect herself, her mission and history itself, Cynda must find the source of the evil threatening the world as she knows it. And if that were not bad enough, Cynda must also deal with the knowledge that she's slowly going insane. It's a side-effect of her job, but seeing and talking to an imagined spider doesn't always make her the ideal candidate to save the world.

Oliver's unique and ambitious second installment in her Time Rovers series delivers thrills, chills and a fabulous heroine who lets nothing stand in her way. On top of creating a perfectly-crafted mystery with characters who leap off the page, Oliver also paints past and future with vivid brush strokes. A large segment of the book takes place in Victorian times, and the historical backdrop provides a startling contrast to Cynda's modern outlook on the events unfolding around her.

Although reading the first book in the series, Sojourn, is recommended, readers who are unfamiliar with the previous installment will quickly find themselves swept away by the fast-paced narrative and Cynda's take-no-prisoners attitude. A delightful adventure through time, Virtual Evil should not be missed.

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