I enjoy a good psychological thriller, but the overall pattern leaves me wanting more. Some have fantastic storylines with unpredictable plot twists and an excellent pace, but the writing often needs to be improved. Then, other times, the writing is superb, but the theme is predictable or repetitive. Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister is, thankfully, neither of those things! This book is wonderfully paced, has a fantastic plot twist, and will evoke emotion in you that you’ll never expect. This book is in the top five thrillers I have ever read!
Jenn Brotherhood waits for her son, Todd, to meet his curfew. It is October 30th, the same night the clocks fall back. As she thinks he is an hour late, the clock moves from 1:59 am to 1:00 am, and there he is, right on time. The only problem is when she sees him approach their home, she realizes something is wrong. His demeanor is off, and he’s acting strangely. As she peers around, she sees a man hurrying toward her son. Jenn and her husband, Kelly, anticipate what may happen, and as Jenn opens the door to step outside to help her son, she thinks she is overcome with a strange sensation, deja vu. Brushing it to the side, she and her husband hurry outside, only to be too late. Just then, Todd engages in the most unthinkable crime that any mother could imagine her child committing. Jenn and Kelly call the police, and they question Todd then take him into custody.
Being an attorney, Jenn knows she can find the resources to help her son. In the morning, when she begins her quest to help him, she discovers him home, as if nothing had happened. When Jenn realizes it was the day before the crime, Jenn begins gathering data to help her son. With each day’s passing, or shall we say preceding, she collects enough data to discover the situation behind her son’s crime and also learns how her entire adult life has been a lie. She works with time and with those placed in her life to make things right and set her family’s ultimate fate in motion.
Time travel stories are usually some I skip because the idea of traveling through time is sometimes too science-fiction to me. Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister is NOT your typical time travel story.
This book is ultimately a story of love; love between a mother and her child, and a story between a wife and her husband. Yes, the book is a thriller in every sense, but McAllister did a phenomenal job evoking so much emotion through her writing. Most times when I read mystery or thrillers, they rate four stars only because the writing is sub-par. There is too much dialogue, or the context needs to be more complex, but that is different with Wrong Place Wrong Time. McAllister’s writing is beautiful and poetic, bringing forth emotion I was not expecting.
Wrong Place Wrong Time highlights a mother’s love and how she would do anything possible to save her child from harm. There are times Jenn reminisced when Todd was younger and wonders if his wrongdoing was due to her shortcomings as a mother, which causes her anxiety and self-doubt. She re-thinks over her past choices and decides to go back and be a better mother from now on. This book moved me as a mom because many moments seem mundane but could be significant to our children. McAllister honestly had me pondering on my own life, thanks to her beautiful way with words.
The narration was the third-person narration, and it worked so well within this context. The narration gave life to the characters and helped seamlessly to progress the story. I found one or two aspects predictable, but the overall writing and theme of the book quickly overshadowed the predictability. If you enjoy an excellent fictional thriller, you will enjoy Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister.
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