Review: A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong

Review by Eliza

This review first appeared at Leviathan Libraries.

Detective Mallory Atkinson’s left her home in Vancouver, Canada, to be by her Nan’s bedside in Edinburgh. The doctors told Mallory there isn’t much time left, but Mallory takes the occasional break to cope with her emotions. While she’s jogging, she’s assaulted, and finds herself jumping into another woman’s body.

The thing is, that woman (Catriona) lives 150 years in the past, and Mallory soon realizes she’s trapped in the late 1800s, in a very different time, and in a very different Edinburgh. It’s soon apparent she isn’t the only one that jumped through time. Her would-be killer leapt into the body of Catriona’s attacker. However, Mallory didn’t get a good look at him, and once she realizes the man who tried to kill her followed her through time, she realizes he won’t stop killing, and she’s a target on his list. Can she figure out who the killer is before it’s too late?

Title: A Rip Through Time | Series: A Rip Through Time | Publisher: Minotaur | Pub Date: xxx 2022-05-31 | Pages: 326 | ISBN13/ASIN: 978-1250820006 | Genre: Historical Mystery/Time Travel | Language: English | Source: NetGalley | Starred Review

A Rip Through Time Review

The premise of A Rip Through Time is a familiar trope. Through unexplained events, someone jumps into another person’s body. In this case, they just happen to jump into the body of someone living 150 years before their time. This creates an intriguing situation for Mallory, who finds herself forced to live as Catriona. Being a maid in Victorian era Edinburgh might sound like a relatively simple task for Detective Mallory Atkinson, but it turns out Catriona’s no mere maid. She’s a criminal and when Mallory starts trying to figure out who’d want Catriona dead, she soon learns there’s a long list of potential suspects.

The success of A Rip Through Time falls squarely on Mallory’s shoulders. She’s our sole POV character, and she must carry us through the entire story and convince us to share her journey. Mallory does this effectively. Perhaps because of the heightened emotions at the start, while she sat with her dying Nan on her own, it’s easy to empathize with her situation and understand why that prompts her to reflect on her life and her choices. Mallory’s coming to terms with losing someone she loves and with the fact she’s let her career become her whole life, rarely seeing friends or going on dates. You get the sense she’s about to make some changes when she’s attacked and knocked back 150 years.

It’s fun to watch her blunder her way through her situation. While many people have watched an historic movie or show from time to time, few could pinpoint the year and know exactly what phrasing to use and how to dress. Add in the fact that Mallory finds herself drawn into a murder investigation and soon realizes it connects with her assault, and you have an intriguing historical mystery with both police and amateur sleuths working the case. 

To avoid spoilers, I rarely read much about arcs before I read them, so I was surprised by the ending. If I’d simply gone to the Amazon page, I would have expected it. Since it did catch me by surprise, I wasn’t sure how to feel about it. I’m not sure where Armstrong plans to take the series from here, but Mallory’s surrounded by an intriguing group of supporting characters and, as Dr. Gray’s assistant, she’ll be able to use her skills to solve crimes while trapped in the past. This series should definitely appeal to people who enjoy historic amateur sleuth stories. 4 out of 5 stars.

Consumers needing content warnings are urged to check out A Rip Through Time’s page on Does the Dog die by clicking this link: A Rip Through Time (Book, 2022) –

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