Friday, October 24, 2008
Great New Time Travel Thriller
I've said before that mass market original paperbacks are the Rodney Dangerfields of publishing -- they don't get enough respect. Sure, many of them have cats solving crimes or include recipes and tips on everything from quilt-making to home renovation. But many are more than worth the price of entry.
This year on the LA Times mystery panel, we have several worthy contenders in the mass market original category. Charles Ardai of Hard Case Crime has given us his own highly amusing publishing memoir, FIFTY-TO-ONE, and Christa Faust's sexy and sharp MONEY SHOT, set inside the porno industry; the amazing P.J. Parrish is up there with SOUTH OF HELL. And now comes a terrific new contender from T.J. MacGregor, RUNNING TIME -- which won me over because of my love for time travel stories.
RUNNING TIME continues the adventures of Nora McKee, whose involvement with the rigors of travelling through time began in last year's KILL TIME
Nora was having lunch with her husband Jake at their favorite restaurant in Blue River, Mass., about to tell him she wanted a divorce. Two agents from the thinly-veiled Federal Dept. of Freedom and Security (known as Freeze on the street), who wear uniforms “the color of rich, bitter chocolate” grab Jake and carry him off to a waiting van, knocking Nora down when she tries to intervene. Jake disappears into the mists of time.
KILL TIME and now RUNNING TIME take their place on my short list of best time travel stories -- Screenplay, by Macdonald Harris; Time and Again, by Jack Finney; Somewhere In Time, by Richard Matheson; The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger.
As I asked last year, what titles am I missing?
[This also ran on The Rap Sheet, where readers made some great suggestions]