Title: A Twist in Time (Kendra Donovan #2)
Author: Julie McElwain
Release date: 4 April 2017
Reading Time: 8-10 Hours
Former FBI agent Kendra Donovan must put her attempts to return home on hold when Alec comes under suspicion for murdering his former mistress, Lady Dover. Kendra joins forces with Sam Kelly as they navigate the twists and turns of Nineteenth Century London, in a race to save Alec from the hangman’s noose.
A Twist in Time is the second instalment in the Kendra Donovan series, and as such, there’s no faffing about establishing back stories and motivations. The action begins immediately, which is a vast improvement over McElwain’s first offering. Then again, you got so much backstory in the first novel, I don’t think there’s really anything left to say on the subject. And there’s even less (read:none) time travel here.
Just as in A Murder in Time, the murder mystery here is well thought out, the culprit is unexpected but believable, and the reveal is well written. Some twists are easy to see coming, but most aren’t. The stakes, however, weren’t actually that high, with Alec’s chances of being hanged for the murder practically non-existent. The Character of Bear eventually adds a little urgency, but to be honest, it never felt like Alec was actually in danger to me.
And then there’s Kendra, who is still kinda meh for me. Her beauty, brains and overall awesomeness aren’t shoved down our throats as much, and she does have her good moments, but they do not outweigh the bad. I understand that Kendra still wants to go back home, but that does not mean she should go about alienating everyone in the 19th Century, especially when there’s a very real possibility that she might be stuck in this era forever. There’s a line between submitting to the oppression on women, and doing enough to blend in. Kendra seems to be oblivious to this line, being downright bull headed about refusing to conform, even a little. You’d think someone as smart as Kendra would at least have a contingency plan. And let’s not forget that she’s reluctant to reveal the tiniest detail about the future to Duke, yet has no qualms about taking point on murder investigations, sharing future policing methods, and throwing around words like ‘unsub’ as much as possible. Inconsistencies, inconsistencies. At least her magical hair is still doing its thing, growing inches overnight. Whatever shampoo she’s using, I want it.
Lady Rebecca and Alec both had larger roles in A Twist in Time, and while I was glad to have more of Rebecca, I’m still failing to see the appeal of Alec. Much like Kendra, he is still meh (which might explain why they are attracted to each other). Does the character of Alec grow? Do any of them, really? I feel these guys are still the same people they were, not just at the beginning of this novel, but at the beginning of this series. This may be a plot driven story, but it doesn’t mean you can get away with cardboard characters. At least the romantic conflict between Kendra and Alec is plausible. There’s a valid reason as to why they shouldn’t be together, and it’s not just because Kendra keeps turning his proposals down.
Overall, I do think A Twist in Time is an improvement on it’s predecessor, especially in regards to its pacing, and if you enjoyed A Murder in Time, you’ll love this. If the first book in the series didn’t completely draw you in, and you’re on the fence, read it. A Twist in Time will either manage to convince you to stick with it, or put you off the series once and for all. But at least you’ll know!
TL,DR: An improvement on it’s predecessor in the series, an historical fiction novel that’s entertaining despite it’s flaws.
*I received this ARC free from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review*