historical fiction · mystery · sci-fi

Review: A Murder in Time

Author: Julie McElwain
Genre: Mystery, Historical, Science Fiction
Series: Kendra Donovan

Summary from Goodreads:

Beautiful and brilliant, Kendra Donovan is a rising star at the FBI. Yet her path to professional success hits a speed bump during a disastrous raid where half her team is murdered, a mole in the FBI is uncovered and she herself is severely wounded. As soon as she recovers, she goes rogue and travels to England to assassinate the man responsible for the deaths of her teammates.

While fleeing from an unexpected assassin herself, Kendra escapes into a stairwell that promises sanctuary but when she stumbles out again, she is in the same place – Aldrich Castle – but in a different time: 1815, to be exact.

Mistaken for a lady’s maid hired to help with weekend guests, Kendra is forced to quickly adapt to the time period until she can figure out how she got there; and, more importantly, how to get back home. However, after the body of a girl is found on the extensive grounds of the county estate, she starts to feel there’s some purpose to her bizarre circumstances. Stripped of her twenty-first century tools, Kendra must use her wits alone in order to unmask a cunning madman.

Comments:

When I read the title for the first time, all I could think about was a Wrinkle in Time. Would this be related to that well-known classic? It somehow was.

I wasn’t entirely sure if I would like the story since I’m not a fan of fantasy, especially time-travel. However, I have to admit that this element has added more interest and color to the story.

Kendra Donovan is an FBI agent set to seek revenge when an operation for a high-profile criminal killed her teammates. Despite careful planning, things didn’t go as planned due to some unforeseen circumstances. The most surprising factor was when Kendra was sucked into a wormhole and was ushered into a different time period.

As this book so openly pointed out, evil is ever present and that’s what Kendra realized when a serial killer hunted young girls. It was up to her to use her skills, deduction, and training to identify him and put an end to his crimes.

I’m always up for a good mystery and crime book so I really enjoyed this one. I must commend the author as I didn’t have the slightest idea who the killer was. It was also a breath of fresh air to see how criminal procedures were done during that era, where technology did not exist. I will definitely read the next book as I need to know how Alec and Kendra would turn out!

“Whoever had said that appearances were deceiving was only partially right; they could also be deadly.”

My Rating: ★★★★ (4)

contemporary · drama · mystery · worst reads

One Moment

Author: Kristina McBride

Summary from Goodreads:
This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it’s the one she’d do anything to forget.

Maggie remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party. She remembers climbing the trail with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can’t she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below–dead?

As Maggie’s memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding?

The latest novel from the author of The Tension of Opposites, One Moment is a mysterious, searing look at how an instant can change everything you believe about the world around you.

Comments:

I was so happy to reach the final page of the story. I thought it would never end. I hate giving up on books with hopes that the story would miraculously saved itself from my distaste. One Moment though failed to deliver.

The beginning was exciting; it’s just another fine day for Maggie and her friends till she gave in to a dare. Joey, her “supportive” boyfriend accompanied her up the trail to jump from the cliff. Suddenly, there was a shift in the air, shouting, and Maggie doesn’t remember a thing. What really happened that resulted to Joey’s death? I realized that what kept me going for the most part are the answers. I bet without the air of mystery, this book will be dead. Even though the answers were already revealed, I can’t believe how it dragged on and on and on.

Part of the book dealt with issues on fidelity in relationships. I just can’t believe how these group of kids, professing to be the closest of friends, have big secrets that true friends shouldn’t have tolerated or even made in the first place. I don’t think they understood what friendship was about. Again, an irritating part of the book concerns Maggie, who despite being so slow and annoying, was again the love interest of the boys. Sounds familiar?

And the ending? Uggh, don’t even get me started on that. It goes something like this.. “Yeah my boyfriend just died, and then Adam professed his love. So I’m moving on because I realized it is Adam whom I truly love. Yay, happily ever after for me.”

My Rating:

crime · mystery · thriller

Now You See Me (2013)

Where: the plane to Atlanta, Georgia
With: just by myself, while seatmates are sleeping
Date of Viewing: well, that depends which timezone…

Genre: crime, mystery, thriller
Personal Blahs:
I am a totally unimaginative person so I am amazed on magic tricks and sleight of hand. I’m not really drawn to such amusement but my dad believes magic is an art. I feel that movies that run on themes such as this plays a risk because they would either come up with a very plot with twists and turns or make something really unique. Movies with magic tend to get boring because sometimes it could be repetitive. I find the movie okay, because of the unique tricks up on their sleeve, such as the bank robbery. However, it is true that all magic tricks have their solutions. But I think knowing all the solutions just take away from the wonder it can bring. I was wondering the whole time who the perpetrator was but it did not really give me the wow factor when everything was revealed. Enjoyable, though.

J. Daniel Atlas: The more you look, the less you see.

My Rating: ★★★★

Book · crime · mystery

Theodore Boone: The Abduction

Author: John Grisham
Date finished reading: February 10, 2012

Comments:
I love John Grisham books and the first installment of the Theodore Boone series was well received in our home. I am rather disappointed with this book because I could have hoped for a better plot. There also was no definite ending – seems like a third book is coming! I’ll surely read the next installment but I just saying that this particular book isn’t so John Grisham-y, if you know what I mean.

My Rating: ★★★

action · crime · Movie · mystery

Salt (2010)

Where: at home
With: by myself
Date of Viewing: February 02, 2012

Genre: action, crime, mystery
Two Cents:
As expected of action spy movies, this flick is unrealistic. Being “trained” young, Jolie who is supposedly a CIA turns about to be a Russian spy as well. There were a lot of stunts and action scenes, which I found entertaining, though it obviously would show that Jolie would handle them all. I just had to comment on the disguise she made. C’mon, she’s a trained agent all she did was dyed her hair black? The plot was okay, a bit predictable maybe, but it was enough to keep me going. This is one of ’em, “the-good-guys-turn-out-to-be-the-bad-guys type of movie. I badly want to speak Russian! The language is cool, and so are their names. There were a lot of errors noted, but I must say I enjoyed watching.

My Rating: ★★★★