Book Review: A Rip in Time (A Rip Through Time #1) by Kelley Armstrong (four stars)
“It would make for interesting detective fiction.” “No, it would not. Do you know why? Because you are not detectives.” “All the best detectives are amateurs. Every reader knows that.”
4.5 stars. Jessica Fletcher does Jack the Ripper. Twenty-first century Canadian detective vaults to Victorian Edinburgh, with a rope around her neck. Connecticut Yankee. Who would you trust? Who would trust you? Except for that leap, not-quite-paranormal. Excellent historical fiction. Great character building. A dash of humor.
“Do I even want to ask what you’re doing?” “Science.” “I see. And more specifically?”
The protagonist may blurt modern idioms, but nineteenth-century middle-class Scots shouldn’t. “Not really my thing.” “medical-school dropout.” Such phrases break the spell of the story. Edgy but not offensive language. Excellent use of crossed purposes, hasty assumptions, and thwarted expectations. Not to mention prejudices.
‘It’s a late-night knock at the back door to a funeral parlor. Of course I want to know who it is.’
Tightly focused story. No culture, sports, society, or politics. Opinions about the 1868 Representation of the People (Scotland) Act should have been on everyone’s tongue. Hardly any mention of the Queen, nor relations with England, though radicals are portrayed as anti-immigrant. (Allusions galore, starting with the title. Dr. Gray could be a fictional Dr. Joseph Bell.)
‘We may keep secrets to protect others, but they will only ever feel we didn’t trust them enough to share.’