Not too long ago I posted about two books by Anthony Horowitz (Magpie Murders and Moonflower Murders) which were truly unique in that there was a book within a book in each one. The whole idea of a murder mystery connecting with another murder mystery story was such an interesting concept. The stories were very intriguing and enjoyable at the same time.
I love your typical whodunit mystery stories where somebody gets killed and a detective, private investigator, or some innocent person gathers clues and finds out who did it in the end. The formula has worked for some of the great mystery writers like Agatha Christie, Earl Stanley Gardner, and others.
I remember reading a book about the TV series Columbo. One of the things that TV networks were concerned about was the fact that they show who the murderer is right from the get-go. They didn’t think anyone would want to watch a detective try to figure out who did it, when the audiences would already know the guilty party. That changed up the presentation of the murder mystery format.
The book that I just finished reading changes it up even more so. In all honesty, it goes against all mystery logic, but that’s what made it a fun read. Let me tell you a little bit about Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister.
Here is the Goodreads synopsis:
“Can you stop a murder after it’s already happened?
Late October. After midnight. You’re waiting up for your eighteen-year-old son. He’s past curfew. As you watch from the window, he emerges, and you realize he isn’t alone: he’s walking toward a man, and he’s armed.
You can’t believe it when you see him do it: your funny, happy teenage son, he kills a stranger, right there on the street outside your house. You don’t know who. You don’t know why. You only know your son is now in custody, his future shattered.
That night you fall asleep in despair. All is lost.
Until you wake . . .
. . . and it is yesterday.
And then you wake again . . .
. . . and it is the day before yesterday.
Every morning you wake up a day earlier, another day before the murder. With another chance to stop it. Somewhere in the past lies an answer. The trigger for this crime–and you don’t have a choice but to find it . . .“
What an interesting way to solve a crime! Each time she wakes up the main character finds a different piece to the puzzle. Along the way she finds out things aren’t as the seem in the present. As she continues to go back day by day, week by week, she discovers more of the events, characters, and clues that led to the murder.
The fact that I enjoy time travel stories is known to anyone who reads this blog. Using the “forced” time travel aspect in this story brought about some extra suspense. The character has no idea how long she will travel back in time OR for how long. She also has no idea if she will ever make it back to the present or just go back so far that she stops existing.
There were times during the story that my jaw actually dropped open because of something I didn’t see coming. It was a great story that at times caused me to pause and reflect on things the main character was feeling. There were things that really made me think about how I approach each day as well.
Does she figure it out? Does she stop the murder? Does she save her son? Does she ever make it back to the present? I highly recommend this book!!
5 out of 5 stars from me!