In this series debut from New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong, a modern-day homicide detective finds herself in Victorian Scotland—in an unfamiliar body—with a killer on the loose.
"A great read." —Charlaine Harris
MAY 20, 2019: Homicide detective Mallory Atkinson is in Edinburgh to be with her dying grandmother. While out on a jog one evening, Mallory hears a woman in distress. She’s drawn to an alley, where she is attacked and loses consciousness.
MAY 20, 1869: Housemaid Catriona Mitchell had been enjoying a half day off, only to be discovered that night strangled and left for dead . . . exactly one hundred and fifty years before Mallory is strangled in the same spot.
When Mallory wakes up in Catriona’s body in 1869, she must put aside her shock and adjust quickly to her new reality: life as a housemaid to an undertaker in Victorian Scotland. She soon discovers that her boss, Dr. Gray, also moonlights as a medical examiner and has just taken on an intriguing case, the strangulation of a young man, similar to the attack on herself. Her only hope is that catching the murderer can lead her back to her modern life . . . before it’s too late.
In A Rip Through Time, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong introduces a brand-new series mixing mystery, romance, and fantasy with thrilling results.
When the Scottish grandmother of Vancouver police detective Mallory Atkinson, the narrator of this inventive series launch from bestseller Armstrong (the Rockton novels), enters hospice care, Mallory flies to Edinburgh for one last visit. After a difficult day at Nan's bedside, Mallory jogs through the Grassmarket, where she spies a flickering female figure in Victorian garb calling for help. When Mallory stops to assist, a man ambushes and chokes her. Mallory wakes in 1869 Edinburgh, her consciousness trapped in the bruised body of the woman she tried to save an illiterate housemaid named Catriona Mitchell. Mallory tries to keep a low profile lest Catriona's employers undertaker Duncan Gray and his widowed half-sister, chemist Isla Ballantyne fire or institutionalize her before Mallory finds a way home, but when she realizes Duncan is a forensics pioneer working with a forward-thinking cop to solve a bizarre murder, Mallory can't resist getting involved. Armstrong puts a fresh, fun spin on an age-old premise. Mallory's snarky narration complements the delightfully preposterous plot, and the vividly sketched cast is studded with charming iconoclasts. Readers will eagerly anticipate future installments.
A slow burn, but a rewarding finish
This is a solid book, and will be a good fit for folks who like intricate mysteries. The ‘whodunnit’ aspect of things is really well crafted, and was a surprise to me even though I’ve read nearly all of Armstrong’s back catalogue by this point.
For those of us more invested in the character side of things, though, it takes a while to really find its footing. (So persevere if you like the story but find things to be slow character-wise in the first half of the book!)
Some of that is from *being* true to the characters and the time period - the protagonist, Mallory, is someone who deals with problems by putting her head down and getting on with things without a ton of introspection. And residents of Edinburgh in 1869 wouldn’t be likely to open up terribly quickly.
But that left me as a reader feeling a bit adrift until around the middle of the book, when things finally started to come together a bit more. I still feel like the book’s characterizations used distance too often, though. When we learn about people’s passions, it’s from 2 or 3 steps back, and is told to us, not shown. If Mallory is panicking, we hear about it only after she’s tamped it down.
Armstrong’s characters are one of her greatest strengths as an author, and this book still shows that. I can definitely bring these folks to mind and easily imagine what they’d do if X or Y were to happen.
But for all of the well-paced plot in the second half of the book, Armstrong doesn’t do enough to show how that action *affects* the characters emotionally. (The last chapter makes up for this a little bit. But while it makes me glad that this book seems to be the start of a series, it doesn’t address the lack of emotional resonance in this installment.)
It’s absolutely worth reading, though, and will be something I’m sure I’ll re-read in the future.
First time reading anything by this author and I was not disappointed. The story gripped me from the beginning and it was difficult not to feel a knot in my stomach whenever the characters were in dangerous situations. The only downfall was when the narrator explains things to us that we should be seeing the other characters do--I wanted to know more about Duncan, and Isla through their actions, interactions, and so on. I am exciting this is the start of a series and I can't wait for the next one! A solid 4.5.
Time Travel Mystery Thriller
A Rip Through Time A Novel by Kelley Armstrong is a time travel novel mystery thriller. A Time Traveling Detective posing as a maid. Murder Mysteries with interesting historical medical details. Exciting story with serial killers, unique characters and irresistible plot twists. Hope this will be a long series because I can’t wait for the next book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I appreciate the opportunity and thank the author and publisher for allowing me to read, enjoy and review this book. 5 Stars