In the small city of Rockton, Illinois, someone is tired of waiting. He’s tired of standing in line at the grocery store and tired of waiting at the drive-through line. Now he’s doing something about it.
The first murder rocks the city. The entire Bjornson family—except the father, Stephen—has been brutally murdered, and the killer has left a message behind, written in the victim’s blood: Don’t Waste People’s Time. It’s a grizzly start for two young detectives who’ve just become partners. But Max Larkin and Jesse Fairlane put their personal distaste for each other aside and start concentrating on how to find the killer from striking again.
As they investigate the scene of the crime and interview Stephen at the hospital, the clues slowly begin to add up. Could this be a deranged killer who struck ten years ago and has now returned to the area? Before they can answer that question, another murder is reported, and Max and Jesse suddenly realize they have a serial killer on the loose.
But as they get closer to the truth, a past memory begins to haunt Max, one that might lead to a break in the case—or the end of his career.
I liked certain things about Time Killer, but I can't say that it completely won me over.
The things that I liked about it.:
I liked the story. The mystery behind who the killer is and his reasons for the killings. While some things I did expect to happen, it wasn't a disappointment when they happened.
I liked the multiple viewpoints. You get to see the story from multiple characters points of view. It really helped to put the reader in the characters shoes. A great example of this is how when you see a room from Larkin's point of view. You see how he notices things and how his detective's mind pieces things together. I really never felt that I couldn't see the places they were in around me. I will warn that I think some of the descriptions are graphic. This is a murder novel, so I don't think that's a problem. I just want to warn others readers that the graphic parts are there.
What I didn't like.:
I really didn't like the present tense. I'm not a huge fan of it to begin with, but I've read stories where it works, and I think that this just isn't one of them. I understand that in present tense the story puts you more in the characters shoes as things are happening. However I think this could have been brought across using past tense.
I also had issues with how some of the scenes transition from one to another. Usually when there's a change of scenery either a new chapter starts or there's something in the formatting showing that there is a difference between the previous scene and the next one. But in quite a few scenes, it's literally the next line and the characters are in new surroundings. It really jolted me out of the story because I felt I had missed something and I needed to go back and reread sections to make sure I hadn't missed something.
Also while I liked the majority of the descriptions there were some things that were described that just felt random and unnecessary. For example, there's a scene where Jesse runs into a room to help a sleeping Max. She's and Max are the only ones in the room and he is still asleep, but out of nowhere the author comments how hot Jesse's legs look. It was unexpected and being that there was no one else in the room to see how she looked except the reader I really didn't see how it was important to state. I could have seen if Max was awake and maybe that's what he was thinking, but he wasn't.
I think if you're looking for a new mystery to pick up that you might consider Time Killer. It being in the present tense is an issue for me, but I know that it isn't an issue for others. But even if tense wasn't an issue for me I'm not sure if I would pick it up knowing what I know about it. My biggest issues being the transitions between scenes and the random descriptions that just didn't seem to have a point in the story.
I'm giving it 3 out of 3 stars. I'd give it more if the transition issues weren't there, if only because the other things that I didn't like are personal opinions. But the scene transitions are something that should have been picked up on by the author, their editor or a beta reader and could have easily been fixed.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.