May 23, 2022

ARC Review--A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong


"A great read." —Charlaine Harris

In this series debut from New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong, a modern-day homicide detective finds herself in Victorian Scotland—in an unfamiliar body—with a killer on the loose.

May 20, 2019: Homicide detective Mallory is in Edinburgh to be with her dying grandmother. While out on a jog one evening, Mallory hears a woman in distress. She’s drawn to an alley, where she is attacked and loses consciousness.

May 20, 1869: Housemaid Catriona Thomson had been enjoying a half-day off, only to be discovered that night in a lane, where she’d been strangled and left for dead . . . exactly one-hundred-and-fifty years before Mallory was strangled in the same spot.

When Mallory wakes up in Catriona's body in 1869, she must put aside her shock and adjust quickly to the reality: life as a housemaid to an undertaker in Victorian Scotland. She soon discovers that her boss, Dr. Gray, also moonlights as a medical examiner and has just taken on an intriguing case, the strangulation of a young man, similar to the attack on herself. Her only hope is that catching the murderer can lead her back to her modern life . . . before it's too late.

Outlander meets The Alienist in Kelley Armstrong's A Rip Through Time, the first book in this utterly compelling series, mixing romance, mystery, and fantasy with thrilling results.


I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


Kelley Armstrong's newest book, A Rip Through Time, is a stunning trip to the past! Though it's far from my usual kind of read, I'm always willing to try any of Kelley's new books outside my usual genre and I found this one to be an engaging mystery that really draws the reader in.

Mallory is your average thirty-year-old detective. But when her grandmother in Scotland is on her deathbed, she drops everything to be there for her loved on in her last hours. While jogging on a break, though, she is attacked by a masked killer and when awakens finds that she is no longer in the alley she was attacked in. She is further terrified when she learns that not only is she not in her own body, she's not even in her own time period anymore. Mallory has somehow jumped through time to 1869 and is in the body of nineteen-year-old Catriona, a maid in a doctor's house.

I was really intrigued with the time travel aspect of this one! I've read a handful of time traveling books and they all have their own way of the actual act. Though this one doesn't really get explained to us just  yet, I feel like Kelley might dig more into it as the series moves along, as Mallory is desperate to get back to her own time and home, and hopefully be there for her grandmother before she passes.

Mallory struggles to adjust to this new life. She's not overly familiar with the year 1869 and I found it very relatable in the time where she wants to check something on her cell phone for factual purpose. How many times do we find ourselves doing that? Only to realize she doesn't have her phone, because it's 1869! 

The house she is in is well off, since there's two other maids as well. Dr. Gray is her employer and he has his own funeral parlor attached to the house as well. But he also helps his detective friend, McCreadie, out with the occasional murder investigation. He's a man of science who's pretty ahead of his time, working forensics out before it's even really a thing.

Mallory as Catriona though is trying to figure out what happened to Catriona that night in her own alley. It would seem Mallory and Catriona were attacked in the same place and time, just 150 years apart! She's itching to find her way back home, but it's not long before more murders start happening. Ones that are very familiar looking to Mallory, that anyone would recognize as Jack the Ripper...if it weren't for the fact that Jack the Ripper has another 19 years or so before making the headlines.

This book was very intriguing indeed! I positively love when authors bring in historical facts and incorporate them into the story as a focal point and not just in mere passing! For the most part this just plays out as a typical mystery set in the past, but we've a heroine who knows what iPhones are! Having that 21st century blend in with the past was something to see! You can see the details Kelley paid attention to her in research to make for accurate setup.

What would a Kelley Armstrong book be without a little romance? Well, unfortunately, you're not going to get much of that here, this time! Mallory does admit to some attraction to her employer, Dr. Gray, but he's around thirty years old as well, but she's trapped in a nineteen year-old body. Definitely will present a problem at some point!

Mallory does interact with the other people of the house as well. As she learns, Catriona wasn't the best of people and she's trying to make amends left and right and try to buildup better relationships with these people. We have Dr. Gray of course, then there's his sister, Isla who will become a key character as well. 

I'll be interested in seeing where this series will go. While the mystery was wrapped up and concluded, there was a bit of an opener for more stories to come, though what those will entail is another mystery entirely. This book is slightly compared to Outlander which I never read myself, or watched the show, so I'll be curious to see what Mallory will do in the end. Will she find her way home? Or will she submit to living over a hundred years in the past? Time will only tell! 

If you're looking for your next historical mystery read, I would highly recommend A Rip Through Time! Kelley has proven to be one of my favorite authors and I come back to her books again and again, despite the lack of paranormal characters! Her writing style is just one that flows easily off the page and makes you flip through the pages all the faster!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars


A Rip Through Time releases May 31, 2022

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