When L.A. Times freelance reporter Jim Mercer begins working on a story in 2012 about a young artist who was brutally murdered back in 1942, he finds himself inexplicably drawn to paintings and grainy footage of the young woman. The stage is now set for Mercer – through a series of events – to discover that he does in fact have a link to the mysterious artist – Emily Torrance. He has definitive proof that he has traveled back in time and already met her. Now he must find a way to go back once more, in the hopes of saving her from her gruesome fate.
The preamble to setting up Mercer’s time travel is rather convoluted and requires a major suspension of disbelief, and Mercer’s obsession with Torrance in 2012 borders on creepily voyeuristic. Even when the connection is revealed, it still doesn’t really justify the lurid setup. However, Richard Keith Taylor does an excellent job of setting the scene in modern day Los Angeles. He also provides some wonderful historical insights into how people lived and worked during the war, once his protagonist travels back to 1942.
At times the story lags, as Taylor spends way too much time on the minutia of LA life and there’s a lot of repetition in the opening section of the book. However, once we jump back to 1942, the characters of Jim and Emily come alive, and the story moves along at a cracking pace. Taylor is at his best when he’s focusing on the suspense. It’s a fantastic page turner as the reader tries to figure out who Emily’s killer is and whether or not Jim can save her in the nick of time and bring her into the future with him.
Taylor has taken an interesting premise and run with it. If he’d focused less on trying to explain how his time travel mechanism works, he’d be able to spend more time on the suspense elements of the novel, which are the major draws in this book.
~Kelly Hartog for IndieReader