Saskia Brandt is a detective in the year 2023. She has returned from a vacation to find that her receptionist is dead and she is a leading suspect in the murder. In another part of the city, university professor David Proctor is informed that the very special computer he has on loan from the university is the very last of its kind. Meanwhile, someone has broken into his home. That someone wants Proctor to return to a lab where he wife died 20 years ago … literally, as in travel to the past.
Saskia’s and David’s lives intersect and they must rely on one another as they travel in time and have to choose the right past in order to get the right future.
I’m no stranger to time-travel books, but it takes a really skilled author to handle the subject well – to deal with the complexities of how a past and future are intertwined and how one small change could affect everything, while delivering a story that’s interesting (those complexities aren’t really an interesting story by themselves), with characters who capture our interest and make us want to see them survive.
Author Ian Hocking misses on almost all counts.
The opening chapters, introducing us to the characters and setting up the scenario, were great. I thought, “Oh wow, this is going to be great! But I promise you that the opening chapters are the most interesting and exciting in the entire book, the rest of this is mostly just a bore.
The series is named after the detective, Saskia Brandt and if most of the book were featuring her, we might have been in decent shape, but she remains a shadow to the less likable and much less interesting David Proctor.
As a reader, I was hooked at the start, so I was Hocking’s audience to lose, and unfortunately, lose me he did with a dull-driving plot, dull characters, and a failure to make even a time travel story interesting.
Looking for a good book? If you’re experiencing Déjà Vu, put the book down and read something else.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Ian Hocking
series: Saskia Brandt #1
publisher: Unsung Stories
paperback, 328 pages