In a twist on your usual police procedural, Jasper Fforde takes us back to England, 1984. But it's not an England that you would recognize. Wales is an independent repulic, a major business enterprise runs everything in all but name, and the Crimean War has dragged on for 171 years. Thursday next is on the fast track to making detective in SpecOps-27, LiteraTec, which deals with all literary crimes. Her father is a fugitive in time, her uncle is a brilliant scientics who doesn't always know the usefulness of his inventions, and oh yeah there is a madman on the loose with nefarious plans to destroy literature as we know it. He starts with a minor character from Dicken's Martin Chuzzlewitt
but quickly moves on to bigger fish - Jane Eyre.
Jasper Fforde has altered history in a completely unexpected manner and manages to take the reader on a fun romp through both time and history. While the writing and the characterization isn't always perfect, the world he has created is so inventive and the story so engaging that it would be very difficult not to enjoy this story. It's packed with humor and literary references, both obvious and obscure can be found on nearly every page. This is my second book by Fforde and he has in no way disappointed. The only warning I would make about this book is that if you have not read Jane Eyre
first, you might want to, unless you don't object to the entire story being spoiled.