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To Kingdom Come (Barker & Llewelyn #2)

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3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,419 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
When a bomb destroys the recently formed Special Irish Branch of Scotland Yard, all fingers point to the increasingly brazen factions of Irish dissidents seeking liberation from English rule. Volunteering their services to the British government, Barker and Llewelyn set out to infiltrate a secret cell of the Irish Republican Brotherhood known as the Invisibles. Posing as a ...more
Hardcover, 277 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by Touchstone Books (first published May 3rd 2005)
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Best Historical Mystery
251st out of 1,287 books — 3,272 voters
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Favorite Historical Mystery Series
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,056)
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Margaret
Dec 16, 2015 Margaret rated it really liked it
Another excellent book in the Barker & Llewelyn series.

This time there is a terrorist attack on Scotland Yard. Cyrus and Thomas go undercover for the Home Office to infiltrate and destroy a band of rabid Irish.

Set at a time when London was being targeted by the Irish, indeed, the attacks by Irish homerulists resulted in the setting up of the Special Irish Branch, which later simply became Special Branch, "To Kingdom Come" is a thought provoking read in many ways. Especially now when the worl
...more
Bev
To Kingdom Come is the second book in Will Thomas's Barker and Llewellyn historical mystery series set in Victorian England. Thomas Llewellyn has been in the employ of enquiry agent Cyrus Barker for a mere two and a half months--only one month has passed since the events in their debut novel, Some Danger Involved, and already the stakes have gone up dramatically.

Two bombs have gone off in London--destroying a portion of Scotland Yard and the Junior Carlton Club. Members of the Irish Republic Bro
...more
Khairul H.
Jan 11, 2010 Khairul H. rated it it was ok
This is the 'difficult' second novel. I didn't find this as enthralling as the debut, Some Danger Involved. Is it because of my little knowledge and interest in the history of the Irish struggle for independence? Or is it because of the big, whopping clue midway through the book that practically shouted to the reader who the brains of the operation (and therefore, the murderer) was? A bit of both. A bit more on the latter, perhaps. I don't expect a brain teaser in my mystery novels but I don't l ...more
Ioana
Mar 16, 2015 Ioana rated it liked it
2.5 stars, rounded up
This series has the potential to be everything that I love in a light-read: it's a mystery novel, it's historical and the setting and characters are believable Victorians, it's well written, and it doesn't skirt around "politics" as most mystery novels do: it tackles the actual issues of the times without apology (first novel: discrimination against Jews in Europe in 19th century; second novel: Irish fight for independence, terrorist methods of the IRA and related factions).
...more
Scot
Jun 01, 2014 Scot rated it really liked it
This is the second in Thomas’s Barker & Llewelyn series. Part of what I enjoyed so much in the first book was the narrator, the scrappy young Welsh sidekick Llewelyn, getting to know his enigmatic and multitalented employer Barker, an expert at “private enquiry,” and watching their relationship develop as we become acquainted with the home and office settings and some central supporting characters. This time around we’re already past that, so this second novel does drag a bit at the beginnin ...more
Beckiezra
Nov 28, 2008 Beckiezra rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book but I figured out the culprit early on so I don't know if that means it was cliche or I was just more observant because I read it over a shorter period of time. The Irish/English conflict was something I was a bit more familiar with so it wasn't quite as interesting as the cultures explored in his other books. There were definitely some great action scenes and character development for Llewelyn and Barker.
WroteTrips
Apr 21, 2016 WroteTrips rated it it was amazing
While the series may appear to be modeled after Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, the writing pacing and style are distinctly modern, and introduces an engaging pair of “enquiry agents.” Thomas Llewelyn, who was booted out of Oxford on trumped up charges and ended up doing time, leads a life of desperation in Victorian England since no one will employ and ex-con. In a last, hopeless attempt he answers an ad for clerk, and ends up employed by the eccentric, enigmatic and dramatic Cyrus Barker, a no nonsen ...more
Sandy
Jan 28, 2014 Sandy rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

It's been a month since the end of his first case with enquiry agent Cyrus Barker & Thomas Llewelyn is still recovering from an attempted crucifixion. A few days of quiet paperwork at the office along with Cyrus' regimen of rehab is just what the doctor ordered. Then the bomb goes off...literally.
With their office in tatters, they race into the smoky streets to find the Home Office has taken a direct hit. It's one in a series of explosions that has rocked the city lately, courtesy
...more
Kathy
May 26, 2014 Kathy rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the first book of this series with the introduction of all the unique and appealing characters (Some Danger Involved). The set of problems requiring resolution in the first book was really interesting to me. Perhaps I had higher than normal expectations as I opened this second book, but I just couldn't get into the extensive bomb making theme and found the Irish "radicals" rather unbelievable. Cyrus Barker certainly comes up with dangerous schemes for an enquiry agent, so it ser ...more
Rachel
In the second book in the Barker/Llewelyn series we find our intrepid duo taking on a different role, that of spy. There has been a bombing in London and in order to find the culprits and bring them to justice Barker and Llewelyn must infiltrate an Irish faction and prevent more bombings. This felt more like a spy novel then a detective story, and fell into some standard tropes and the identity of the mastermind wasn't that shocking. I loved learning more about the Irish and how they were treate ...more
Pam
Feb 02, 2016 Pam rated it really liked it
AUTHOR: Thomas, WIll
TITLE: To Kingdom Come
DATE READ: 01/31/2016
RATING: 4.5./B+
GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS Crime Fiction/ 2005/ Simon & Shuster / 275 pgs
SERIES/STAND-ALONE: #2 Barker & Llewelyn
CHARACTERS Cyrus Barker/ enquiry agent; Thomas Llewelyn/ Barker's assistant
TIME/PLACE: Victorian era London
FIRST LINES Boom. It was a sublime sound, seeming to come from everywhere and nowhere at once.
COMMENTS: Really enjoying this series. In this 2nd venture Scotland Yard has just been bom
...more
Larry
Dec 16, 2015 Larry rated it really liked it
Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn penetrate an Irish Brotherhood terror squad on behalf of the British intelligence services following a lethal bombing aimed at the heart of the government. It is a dangerous case and it brings out the strength of Barker, the master inquiry agent, and Llewelyn, his dogged but intelligent assistant. 9As was revealed in "Some Danger Involved," Llewelyn's predecessor was killed while working for Barker, who is both paternalistic and willing to risk both himself and h ...more
Lisa C
Aug 31, 2014 Lisa C rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries, victorian
I was a bit disappointed in this installment, though that is often the case with the second book in a series. A lot of the strength of the first book was the quirky traits and behaviors of the main characters. While unusual or engaging characters is often the draw in series fiction, this work failed to expand on the characters by adding depths to their personalities, i.e. showing similar situations to highlight those traits, but instead revisited those that built that characters in the first pla ...more
Richard Stueber
Dec 17, 2014 Richard Stueber rated it really liked it
An novel set among the Irish terrorists set in 1884. In the second novel about them enquiry agent Cyrus Barker and his aide Thomas Llewelyn go undercover to infiltrate a gang of Irish terrorists.
A bomb has destroyed the Special Irish Branch of Scotland Yard. Barker and Llewelyn, posing as a German bomb maker and his anarchist apprentice, are recruited by a secret cell of the Irish Republican Army.
Fraught with explosives, secret initiations, and vicious stick fights, and featuring historical figu
...more
erforscherin
This one was just average - passable, but without the spark that made the first book, Some Danger Involved , so much fun.

Danger was strongest when exploring London's geography and history, and as a result was almost more travelogue than mystery novel. Here, To Kingdom Come tries to mix this up a little: though the plot again ties in real historical events (the rise of the IRB, the bombing of Scotland Yard), this time most of the action takes place outside of the city, as Barker and his assistan
...more
Peg
Dec 21, 2009 Peg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book quite by mistake. It was in the clearance pile in a bookstore at the shore. I am pleased to report that it was a very nice surprise. The two main characters, Victorian enquiry agent Cyrus Barker and his young assistant Thomas Llewelyn, find themselves posing as an expert German bomb maker and his apprentice. Their goal is to infiltrate a secret cell of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, which is responsible for bombings in London. There is fear that they may try again, in hopes ...more
Lillian Carl
This is the second book in a series, after Some Danger Involved. It's set in the world of Sherlock Holmes, with the main character, Cyrus Barker, being an all-wise, all-seeing version of Holmes.

The point of view character is not at all Watson, though. He's Thomas Llewelyn, a young man with a difficult past who signed up to be Barker's assistant in the first book. He's an engaging character, whose occasional bewilderment helps to balance out Barker's neverending perfection.

In this volume, Barker
...more
Matt
Roughly as enjoyable as the first. It's a flawed but fun adventure story. Thomas is a touch too fond of telling rather than showing, and has a tendency to force the narrative to move from A -> B a bit artificially. As is usual the endings are the worst part, well, second worst part in this one.

It started out strong, and remained fairly satisfactory, but I don't think Thomas is living up to his promise yet. I believe there are currently five books in the series, and I hope that he gets better
...more
LJ
Aug 27, 2007 LJ rated it really liked it
TO KINGDOM COME (Private Investigators-Europe-1884) – VG
Thomas, Will – 2nd in series
A Touchstone Book, 2005- Hardcover
The Irish Republican Brotherhood has blown up part of Scotland Yard and the blast does damage to the offices of Investigator Cyrus Barker and his young Welsh assistant, Thomas Llewelyn. Barker volunteers their services to the British government, and they infiltrate a branch of the IRB whose aim is to blow up the main sites in London and the citizens around them.
*** A very intere
...more
Opera4fun
Dec 21, 2014 Opera4fun rated it really liked it
I'm really liking this series. "To Kingdom Come" is the second book in the series and the characters of Barker & Llewelyn are really being defined nicely. It's a shade of Sherlock Holmes & Dr. Watson set in London in the early 1900's. This story involves bombings taking place by a group of Irish rebels trying to bring London/England to it's knees. Barker & Llewelyn must go undercover to sort it out. The story is great and I can't wait to read the next one. Great fun.
Joe Scholes
Jun 20, 2011 Joe Scholes rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Greg Rowland
Recommended to Joe by: Connie Suttle
This was another delightful book by Will Thomas. I love how the two main characters are such opposites. Barker remains as private and elusive as ever, while Llewelyn has fleshed out considerably in this story, with physical and emotional challenges that I enjoyed. I rather felt sorry for him at the end, with his broken heart and all, but Barker doesn't delay in getting Llewelyn involved in another case so he doesn't dwell on his own miserable condition.

The story took Barker and Llewelyn in an en
...more
Deadlined
While the series may appear to be modeled after Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, the writing pacing and style are distinctly modern, and introduces an engaging pair of “enquiry agents.” Thomas Llewelyn, who was booted out of Oxford on trumped up charges and ended up doing time, leads a life of desperation in Victorian England since no one will employ and ex-con. In a last, hopeless attempt he answers an ad for clerk, and ends up employed by the eccentric, enigmatic and dramatic Cyrus Barker, a no nonsen ...more
Janellyn51
Nov 02, 2014 Janellyn51 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Second Barker and Llewellyn book. I enjoyed this one very much. Thomas' books move right along. It was suspenseful, and exciting. Battling Irish factions over home rule...Barker and Llewellyn rule in the end...I like the Llewellyn character, he reminds me a little of Bacchus in the PBS series Inspector George Gently. Kid certainly can take a beating!
Jennifer
Jul 24, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
This is actually the second time I read this book, and I enjoyed it just as much on the second read through. The depictions of Victorian London and the evolution of Llewellyn and Barker's relationship are entertaining to follow. I look forward to reading or rereading other books in the series.
Cecilia Rodriguez
The story takes place in 1884, a year after the first story. Thomas and his employer, Barker are asked to infiltrate a group of Irish anarchist. Thomas and Barker go under cover as German bomb experts and risk their lives in this new adventure.
Jerelyn
Nov 11, 2010 Jerelyn rated it really liked it
I pretty much stumbled on to this series I am so glad I did. I am on a Victorian kick right now, To Kingdom Come is the second book in the series. In this one Barker and Llewellyn are on the case of Irish extremists who bomb Scotland Yard. The Royal Family is threatened, and our heros must go undercover to stop them. I just love the characters, especially Llewellyn. Llewellyn has found his feet so to speak even though Barker is still a puzzle to him. I am awaiting the arrival of the next 2 books ...more
John
Jul 20, 2011 John rated it really liked it
The 2nd of the Barker and Llewellyn series goes down even faster and better than the first. Now that the characters and setting is established, Thomas wastes no time getting our heroes into action as they attempt to locate, infiltrate, and bring down a radical Irish Republican terrorist cell before they can wreck havoc on Victorian London via explosive devices. With a schosche of willing suspension of disbelief, you are sure to enjoy the ride. Whether you are an afficionado of Victorian detectiv ...more
Maureen Hetzel
Aug 23, 2015 Maureen Hetzel rated it liked it
3.5 rating. A fun read as was the first in the series. Love the sense of what was happening in Victorian England as an integral part of each plot. Delightful characters and I will soon start number three.
Cecilia Rodriguez
Mar 31, 2015 Cecilia Rodriguez rated it liked it
Set a year after the first story (1884). Thomas narrates a new adventure that requires him and Cyrus Barker to go undercover.
Filled with intrigue and dangerous action, a thrilling mystery.
Paulina
Dec 19, 2014 Paulina rated it really liked it
Well written and a gripping read. But I figured out the twist ending long before the end. Tons of fore-shadowing that kind of gave things away. I hope future books are better.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Will Thomas, born 1958 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, is a novelist who writes a Victorian mystery series featuring Cyrus Barker, a Scottish detective or "private enquiry agent," and his Welsh assistant, Thomas Llewelyn. The Barker/Llewelyn novels are set in the 1880s and o
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More about Will Thomas...

Other Books in the Series

Barker & Llewelyn (8 books)
  • Some Danger Involved (Barker & Llewelyn, #1)
  • The Limehouse Text (Barker & Llewelyn, #3)
  • The Hellfire Conspiracy (Barker & Llewelyn, #4)
  • The Black Hand (Barker & Llewelyn, #5)
  • Fatal Enquiry (Barker & Llewelyn, #6)
  • Anatomy of Evil (Barker & Llewelyn, #7)
  • Hell Bay (Barker & Llewelyn, #8)

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