Sunday, December 7, 2008

Killing Time by Linda Howard ****

I listened to Killing Time on audio as I drove from my... former home... to Kerrville, Texas, where I'm in a Best Western, halfway on my trip to the next part of my life. So I used Killing Time to kill time while I drove.

This is a time-travel/suspense with a dash of romance. I haven't read any of the other reviews, but I'm guessing LH romance fans were not happy with waiting so late in the story for any romance to come about. The time travel - from the future to 2005 - isn't the usual time travel conceit (which seems to be a contemporary woman going back in time to some guy, often a Scot - am I wrong?). I didn't even know it was time travel when I started listening, so the clues, which are released slowly, had me guessing. Was she from another country? Outer space alien? I enjoyed how it came about, that speech was so different in addition to other issues like paper being precious and digital data being lost because we in 2005 thought it would last forever.

The prologue sets up the original issue: 15-year-old Knox and his dad watch the small town governors bury a time capsule in 1985 to be opened in 2085. But thirteen items are put in, not 12 as noted in the newspaper, and Knox worries and wonders about it.

Now it's 2005, 20 years later, and someone digs it up - but the 2 video tapes detective Knox looks at only show a bright light then a hole, with a second or two between. Then some weird things start happening, and people start dying, and a female FBI agent named Nikita shows up, thinking the first murder might be related to a case she's working on... in 2205. After a phone call to the agency proves she isn't an FBI agent (in 2005), Knox cuffs Nikita to a chair in advance of locking her up. She manages to get him curious about her story that she's from the future, and after a couple of tricks of 23rd century technology, he reluctantly agrees to help her.

She's here chasing an unknown time-travel bandit that she suspects might be one of her colleagues. But how does his/her appearance in 2005 relate to the disappearance of the time capsule, slashed tractor tires and three murders - as well as a suicide in 1985?

Here's the one thing about this audio: I find Joyce Bean's narration to be slightly stilted and that bothers me. I don't mean just her Nikita voice, for whom 21st century English is not her native language - I mean her narration of the POV voice too. As the book goes on, it gets less noticeable. I felt the same way about Death Angel but I loved Death Angel so much I overlooked this issue after the first several minutes. This story wasn't quite as engaging, so the over-pronunciation of consonants, and slight pauses between some words seemed more pronounced. I see that she has narrated a lot of LH books - I guess it's lucky for me I have been reading them rather than getting the audio. I do have one more to keep me company on the final leg of my trip, so we shall see.

1 comment:

Cindy W said...

Hope you have a safe drive. I didn't even know this was TT!