How do you fight an enemy who has a million eyes?
What if we’re living in an alternate timeline? What if the car crash that killed Princess Diana, the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, and the shooting of King William II weren’t supposed to happen?
Ex-history teacher Gregory Ferro finds evidence that a cabal of time travellers is responsible for several key events in our history. These events all seem to hinge on a dry textbook published in 1995, referenced in a history book written in 1977 and mentioned in a letter to Edward III in 1348.
Ferro teams up with down-on-her-luck graduate Jennifer Larson to get to the truth and discover the relevance of a book that seems to defy the arrow of time. But the time travellers are watching closely. Soon the duo are targeted by assassins willing to rewrite history to bury them.
Million Eyes is a fast-paced conspiracy thriller about power, corruption and destiny.
C.R. Berry caught the writing bug at the tender age of four and has never recovered. His earliest stories were filled with witches, monsters, evil headteachers, Disney characters and the occasional Dalek. He realised pretty quickly that his favourite characters were usually the villains. He wonders if that’s what led him to become a criminal lawyer. It’s certainly why he’s taken to writing conspiracy thrillers, where the baddies are numerous and everywhere.
After a few years getting a more rounded view of human nature’s darker side, he quit lawyering and turned to writing full-time. He now works as a freelance copywriter and novelist and blogs about conspiracy theories, time travel and otherworldly weirdness.
He was shortlisted in the 2018 Grindstone Literary International Novel Competition and has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Storgy, Dark Tales, Theme of Absence and Suspense Magazine. He was also shortlisted in the Aeon Award Contest, highly commended by Writers’ Forum, and won second prize in the inaugural To Hull and Back Humorous Short Story Competition.
He grew up in Farnborough, Hampshire, a town he says has as much character as a broccoli. He’s since moved to the “much more interesting and charming” Haslemere in Surrey.
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It’s good to know that this is the first book in a series, because I could read CR Berry’s stories over and over again. The mix of history, conspiracy theories and time travel works sublimely, and the storytelling is so very clever.
The “fun” begins with Gregory Ferro and his blog, in which his seven readers are privy to his “findings” on the death of William II, the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, the Black Death, and the death of Princess Diana, all of which are connected by this obscure book with the impossible title: “The History of Computer-Aided Timetabling for Railway Systems” by Jeremy Jennings.
When history graduate Jennifer Larson reads one of his posts, she’s intrigued by his theories and arranges to meet him in person in a nearby pub. The meeting doesn’t go as expected, and they part company only to meet again on a train. Ferro tries to avoid her, thinking her rude after she dismissed his ideas previously, but Jennifer apologises and asks if he’s made any progress. Ferro is dying to discuss his findings with someone, and so they later meet up at his home. Jennifer offers to help and they agree to stay in touch.
And that’s when things really go awry … Ferro, it seems, is being watched, and the watchers are concerned he’s getting too close to exposing them, putting their world-altering plans at risk. He has to warn Jennifer. Is he too late? She is a target too, but who is observing them and why?
The story alternates through different timelines to tell the “real” stories of William II, the Princes in the Tower, and of Diana, Princess of Wales. The history is detailed and engrossing, the plotlines are absorbing, and the book connection is fascinating, especially how it is passed on from generation to generation to ensure the Monarchy is safe. Those in control are not willing to let anyone stop them, no life is too precious and absolutely nothing is beyond them.
It’s a tense, fast-paced page-turner of a story, with relatable and believable characters in Ferro and Jennifer. It’ll have you wondering exactly who can you trust. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for the next in the series.
The author generously also provided a copy of Million Eyes: Extra Time, a collection of twelve time-twisting tales set in the world of the Million Eyes novel.
The stories act as an introduction to the Million Eyes world, exploring themes that are central to the trilogy and offering a unique insight into its time-travelling villains. They focus on side characters who (mostly) do not appear in the trilogy while revealing clues to key storylines in all three books.
As I said at the outset, I could read his stories over and over. This extra book gives me that opportunity. Thank you, CR Berry!
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