This is one of the best books I have read for a while. The combination of a clever plot and imaginative, skilled writer makes this novel a work of art.
The premise of someone travelling back in time to prevent a murder in itself is not original: the way it is executed with intensity, logic and originality makes this an outstanding read. The story opens where a mother witnesses her teenaged son commit murder on a stranger. After his arrest she goes to bed to wake up on the day before. Thus her journey begins backwards, where she picks up details she had previously missed. To keep the time travel credible and not faring too far into fantasy, a university scientist from a real university (John Moores University in Liverpool) explains how such phenomena works. Brilliant.
The characters are, for the main part, likeable and detailed. Mannerisms, for example, are quirky and believable. The setting is painted well although I confess that this is my part of the world so the nostalgia could be a feature, but that can't detract from the author's depiction. Perfectly paced without any gimmicky events or stilted twists. A plot that is masterfully crafted and totally immersive.
This is a book about identity, observation, devotion and loyalty. McAllister's writing is superb - sharp, intense, poetic without resorting to clichés. The only criticism I have is the title is too mundane for such a great novel. Highly recommended.
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Published by Penguin Michael Joseph UK on 12 May 2022.
Advanced review copy supplied by the publisher.