Time-Loops and Cosmic Do-Overs
How do you prevent a murder after it’s already happened? That’s the question in bestselling author Gillian McAllister’s newest thriller WRONG PLACE WRONG TIME, a book with the story told backwards.
Jen Brotherhood is a divorce attorney, happily married to Kelly, an easygoing, quiet independent construction contractor who’s never wanted to be in the spotlight. Life is good, at least until that October night right before Halloween when Jen and Kelly witness their 18-year-old son, Todd, stab a man to death in front of their house. Watching their nerdy bookworm son take another man’s life shocks the hell out of them. That night, Jen cries herself to sleep, not knowing if there is anything she can do to help her son.
When Jen wakes up the next day, confusion assaults her as she realizes everything has gone back to the way it used to be. She doesn’t understand how it could happen, but it’s the day before the murder. Kelly has almost convinced her the horror of yesterday was only a dream. But if that’s so, how can she correctly predict everything that happens that day? Jen hopes that finding the knife in her son’s backpack and confronting him, will be the end of this horrible nightmare. After all, he can’t commit a murder without the murder weapon. Hopefully, she’ll just wake up to her normal life in a new day—one she hasn’t already lived through.
But when she wakes, it’s now the day of the murder, minus two.
Although she still doesn’t understand what’s going on, Jen believes she’s stuck in a time-loop, traveling back to the days that are “significant”—days that she needs to pay attention to. On each day she relives in the past, there is either something she must learn that she didn’t pick up on the first time, or there are actions she must change that might prevent her son from becoming a murderer. She’s not sure how far back the time-loop will take her, or whether it will ever stop.
And what about the “butterfly effect”? How does she know what should be changed to prevent the murder? If she alters the wrong things in the past, will the future be even worse?
Read the rest of my review and interview in The Big Thrill.