The Map Of Time by Felix Palma. HarperCollins, £12.99.

THE story of a heartbroken young man who turns to time travel to save his murdered lover seems as if it should be a certain hit.

Following in the footsteps of The Time Traveler’s Wife, it follows a crowd-pleasing formula of love, time travel and adventure that seems likely to capture the same audience.

However, sometimes a book somehow manages to be less than the sum of its parts. While all the ingredients have great promise – there’s even a smattering of exotic historical characters such as Jack the Ripper, Ernest Shackleton and HG Wells – the overall effect is of a cake half-baked.

The main problems with this book are the clunky dialogue – no doubt as much the fault of the translator as the author – and a contrived plot.

Sarah Warwick