Robert Harris is a remarkable novelistic traveller through time and space, setting his extensive roster of dramas/thrillers anywhere his curiosity takes him. Who else could render Pompeii’s plot-whumping reality as a breathless story? One of Harris’s strengths is the opening scene, always unraveled with economy, always unmistakably settling the place and milieu, and “The Second Sleep” is no exception. We ride beside a callow priest, in the year of 1468, on his journey to put to rest a deceased clergyman, arriving at a gloomy, downtrodden village in grungy Exmoor. No plot spoilers but from there on, Harris’s unwinding of a wonderful plot runs at a breakneck pace, and the book unfurls as a terrific armchair read. I can recommend “The Second Sleep,” but for myself, consider the climax a step down from what Harris usually conceives.