Lord Byron's Ring


Fiction - Suspense
563 Pages
Reviewed on 01/24/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

Lord Byron's Ring by James Pumpelly is a haunting story of love, loss, and power. Through an omniscient narrator, we get to know of Sara Burden’s blissful marriage to Jack, who has always regarded himself lucky in all respects. His admirable work ethic has yielded him millions in oil and gas; he is blessed with a good-looking and ambitious son, Drew; his wife, a Byron devotee, is the living likeness of an ivory girl carved by a Greek sculptor. But the world of this idyllic family is tested upon their encounter with Frank Caulder, a cunning businessman who is untrue to everything, even to his own first name. Caulder is intent on acquiring Jack’s company, and his motive is more than avarice and worse than the vilest greed. But when Caulder is found lifeless at the bottom of Jack’s mud pit, Drew is pushed to uncover motives of greed and revenge.

It has been a while since a suspense novel has shaken me, and Lord Byron’s Ring will probably give you the same effect. James Pumpelly’s narrative is profound and poetic, and it seeps through your veins. It knocks you off your feet through its deep-seated exploration of consciousness. The story manages to detail the Burdens’ struggle from different vantages, from the omniscient narrator to the self-aware thoughts of the characters. It is uncanny how Pumpelly constructed a suspenseful tale that effectively pits spirituality against decline. He has stirringly written the idea of how mysterious ways help good to triumph over evil, but this can sometimes be painful when sacrifices have to be made. This work is astounding in all respects, and it deserves to be read.

Grace Masso

Lord Byron's Ring by James Pumpelly is a suspenseful novel that is intricately plotted and will be a delightful read for fans of mystery. As the story opens, Sara is more than happy to leave Oklahoma just for the sake of leaving behind a “morbidly vivid moment” and wanting to guard her past and protect it. One immediately gets a glimpse of the complexity of her personality. She is a respectable wife, mother, and historian with a unique love for Byron’s works. Sara Burden is adored by her husband, Jack. They have everything any couple wants — an idyllic life, a romance that is strong and admired by the locals, and an intelligent son. But a vacation to Salzburg, Austria is about to change everything. When a businessman who has resorted to blackmailing Jack’s drilling business turns up dead, everything changes for the worse, and even Drew, their son, becomes embroiled in a case of murder. But can a medium who conjures the ghost of Lord Byron offer the answers they are looking for?

This is a fascinating story, and the mystery abounds through the pages. James Pumpelly writes in prose that is top-of-the-line, exploring the family dynamics of the Burdens and their secrets with exceptional skill. The communication between Sara and Jack is spectacularly written, real, and exciting — a bond that pulls the reader into the story. While family is at the heart of the narrative, there are supporting themes that enrich it, like murder, spirit mediums, religion, and the quest to keep a family together from unexpected threats. The author creates characters that are believable, richly handled, and that readers can relate to. Following these characters as they evolve through the tensions and unforeseen situations that they are forced to face is one of the exciting things about this novel. Lord Byron's Ring is classic, it is spellbinding, and it is absorbing, written with strong plot threads and themes that appeal to readers intellectually.

Tammy Ruggles

Lord Byron's Ring by James Pumpelly is a powerfully moving work of drama, romance, and suspense. The book opens with the description of the love Sara Burden has for her darling husband Jack. The two have a fairytale romance--the kind of relationship others wish they had. Their son Drew completes their happy family. Sara is also a keen reader of Lord Byron and knows all about him. It seems that nothing can break the romantic and family bonds, or penetrate the envied life they lead. But they say if something can go wrong, it will. And something happens while they are on holiday in Salzburg, Austria that changes everything, thanks to a nefarious schemer named Caulder who endangers Jack's oil-based finances. Caulder dies, which opens a Pandora's box of suspicion, mystery, and murder, involving their son Drew as well. Enter Lord Byron's spirit, conjured up by a medium named Mother Claire. How Lord Byron fits into the narrative will amaze you.

This novel involves the reader on a deep emotional level. I like Sara, and Jack is such an admirable character, a rags-to-riches guy who doesn't forget his humble roots. He's kind, and his love for Sara is touching. Drew is my favorite character here. But there are secrets to contend with, and Pumpelly knows how to craft a masterful tale. It isn't just the plot that's intriguing, which is stellar. It's the poetic phrasing he uses, the way he evokes emotions from the reader, and doesn't give anything away unless and until it's necessary. He has you guessing, and you can't always predict what the characters will say or do. They have minds of their own and are three-dimensional, to say the least. Pumpelly's strength lies in character development and phraseology. When it comes to writing, if you can believe the characters, you can believe what they are doing and what is happening to them. I like the author's use of religion and spirituality in this story as well. The family drama appeals to the intellect and offers an irresistible mystery. Lord Byron's Ring by James Pumpelly is a novel of suspenseful drama you will fall in love with.

Steven Robson

Lord Byron’s Ring by James Pumpelly is classic romanticism told in a daedal fusion of finely honed fiction. This is a story of the many flavors of love held to account against the ultimate bond between Sara and her husband Jack Burden, a self-made oil baron living his dream in Oklahoma. With their only child Andrew, they are the personification of a loving family, and when Jack presents Sara with Lord Byron’s ring for their 20th wedding anniversary amidst the incredible backdrop of Salzburg, perfection seems a poor descriptive for their shared happiness. Bathing in these glorious moments, Sara and Jack are blissfully unaware of another love unrequited, festering back home in the form of Frank Caulder, a business rival carrying a torch for Sara and a sinister plan to inflict his feelings on a family he sees as his due. The glue that binds the many threads of this interesting story is Lord Byron, who seems to reach through time to touch the lives of a number of the main characters, lending his poetic words and material possessions to the joy of those recipients.

There is little doubt James Pumpelly’s Lord Byron’s Ring is a vessel of profound and skilled written words, which I found in its own right moving and compelling. The underlying story is cleverly conceived, with surprises and intrigues designed to achieve maximum effect. I found the characters and relationships to be accurately portrayed, with a full spectrum of love on show: the love of Myrtle for her “son,” Drew, the love of Woody for his adopted “family,” the Burdens, and yes, even the twisted love of Frank for Sara all ringing true. Ultimately, Lord Byron’s Ring is for anyone who loves majestic prose woven into a romantic adventure laced with danger, mystery, intrigue, and spiced with the occasional tinge of captivating poetry.

Rabia Tanveer

Lord Byron's Ring by James Pumpelly is a suspense novel with a heavy dose of romance to keep you interested. The story follows Jack and Sara Burden as they both try to fight the odds and come out victorious. They have a wonderful life. Their son Drew is an intelligent young man and the pride of his parents. However, their bad luck begins when they go on vacation to Salzburg, Austria. The once-happy and successful family becomes the victim of a blackmailing scheme. Jack is hoping to start drilling for oil, but a new enemy arises and changes everything. Their once perfect existence is shattered, and now they are just trying to survive. Can Jack, Sara, and Drew make sense of the mess and get their old life back? It’s a slippery slope, but they have no choice. Will they get themselves out of this mess?

Lord Byron's Ring is a perfect family drama with a heavenly dose of romance and suspense to keep the story moving forward. I love the dynamic between Jack and Sara. They support each other, love each other unconditionally, and make sure they are there for their son Drew as well. Drew is an emotional young man who follows his heart and not his head. His actions might not be right, but his heart is always in the right place. The mystery behind the Burdens' blackmailer, the reason behind the blackmailing, and the addition of Lord Byron’s ghost elevates the plot. The narrative goes perfectly with the development arc of the characters. The dialogues are perfect, the pace of the plot is fast, and the overall feeling of the story is entertaining. The background building is out of this world, and James Pumpelly makes sure the scenarios are believable. This is a fantastic story.