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Trashy, and not in a good way

A Murder in Time: A Novel - Julie McElwain

This book was offered through my library's Overdrive app as some sort of Big Read, so I decided to give it a try. It has all of the ingredients for a fun summer book: FBI profiler Kendra Donovan accidentally travels back in time and has to catch a serial killer. If you like trashy books at all then you probably think that premise sounds pretty fun. 

 

Sadly, the execution is lacking and I quit on this one after 5 chapters. 

 

1. There are major POV problems. There is a huge difference between an omniscient narrator and an inept writer who constantly head-hops. 

 

2. Kendra isn't just *any* FBI profiler, because that wouldn't be interesting enough. No, she's the product of two scientists who believe in eugenics and created her in a lab. She's therefore the smartest and most specialist FBI profiler who ever was--indeed, so special that the FBI waived their age requirements and let her join up early. Dear author: no1currr. 

 

3. Everyone is fucking stupid, including Kendra. She drones on and on about the deadly ricin in the warehouse she and her colleagues are busting into in the first part of the story. Better keep those masks on, right guys? Nope--almost the first thing they do when they breach the warehouse is rip their masks off because the bad guys have flash bombs. Fortunately the ricin they've been so worried about is not Chekhov's ricin, so it ends up not mattering.

 

4. The author seems to have only a vague idea of how computers work. Kendra leads her team to the bad guy by "tracking his signal," and writing a magic computer program that guesses where he'll go to next, whatever that means. Maybe she's using the Find my Phone app on his iPhone.

 

5. The pacing sucks. I got through five chapters of a time travel story--guess how much time traveling is done to that point? If you guessed zero then, sadly, you're correct. The author strands us in what is essentially Kendra's backstory for what feels like an eternity. I now understand why this book is 500 pages long.

 

This one wasn't for me, and I'm a bit envious of people who liked it. I really wanted to be one of those people.