My apologies, but yesterday’s blog post had the wrong dates for the 99 cent sale for TIME’S RELATIVE. The sale will start on June 17 and run until June 21. I guess time got ahead of me. No pun intended. Sorry for the confusion.
It’s the fall of 1998, and librarian Samantha Stewart is looking for a new job. After seeing an ad for a high-paying position at a company called Virtual Software that entails research and travel, Sam investigates the company and learns that its president has gone missing, and that it’s currently being run by the vice-president Greg Parsons.
Before Sam makes it to the interview, she’s visited by a strange woman who introduces herself as Jane Oldsfield: a time traveler whose mission Greg Parsons is trying to prevent.
Sam ignores the woman and goes on the job interview anyway. Soon, she finds herself involved not only with Greg Parsons, but also Philip Montmart, a chain-smoking detective with a vendetta for his wife’s killer, and the time-traveling Oldsfield and her feline accomplice.
Witnessing world events that have yet to happen in her lifetime, including 9/11, Hurricane Sandy, Y2K hysteria and the COVID pandemic, can Samantha figure out Oldsfield’s plans?
This book reminded me of a gothic novel. Taking place on an island in Italy during a storm and including a villa and family crypt, it was very atmospheric. I received an advanced reader’s copy and couldn’t stop reading, even though the key to the mystery was revealed early in the book. When Claire Hunter meets the rich Jack Compton, her life changes. Having led a tough teenage life and becoming involved with a criminal, she still feels guilt about the night her father was killed in a car accident that she caused.
When Jack arranges their wedding on the island where his family owns a villa, she’s excited but somewhat overwhelmed. It doesn’t help that the night before they leave for Italy, someone breaks into the house, and Claire kills the intruder in self defense. Her actions are covered up by the bodyguard who was meant to protect her and Jack. Trouble continues to follow them to the island as they prepare for their wedding, and the incoming storm adds to the mystery. Claire learns that many of the Compton wives died accidentally, including Jack’s first wife, Morgan. The only difference is that Morgan’s body has never been found, although when Jack and Claire arrive on the island, a body is discovered.
Secrets are revealed about Jack’s family, but Claire, with her own secrets, still wants to marry Jack. After her wedding gown is ruined and people start being killed by unexplained accidents at the villa, Jack’s mother moves up the wedding in the hope that whoever is trying to prevent it will stop after it has taken place. Unfortunately, the person behind the incidents has other plans.
Although I wasn’t surprised at the ending, there was a twist. I really enjoyed this book, but I found it a bit too dark for my taste. The changing point of views, even of the person behind everything, added interest and insight to the characters. For those who enjoy dark fiction with a gothic feel, I would recommend this read.