A fusion of paranormal thriller and time-travel romance, this debut novel follows a writer who travels to upstate New York to work on a bed-and-breakfast guide and finds himself inexplicably back in 1945.
Bo Bradson isn’t exactly living an idyllic life. He recently broke up with his girlfriend of two years. Troubled by nightmares, he finds that his job writing guidebooks is far from fulfilling. Taking a working vacation in scenic New York may be just the thing Bradson needs: he’s even contemplating writing a novel. But on his way to the remote bed-and-breakfast, called the Truitt Hotel, his car breaks down and he is eventually picked up by the hotel’s groundskeeper, who drives him to the stately mansion. Once Bradson checks in, he quickly recognizes his strange predicament. The fashions, the automobiles, the newspapers, the magazines—he realizes that he is 70 years in the past. With an annual festival just days away and the hotel filled with visitors, Bradson quickly finds himself entangled in a long-unsolved case involving a missing woman. With her ghost presumably haunting him, he begins to unravel the circumstances of her disappearance and inadvertently puts his life in danger. To complicate matters, he falls in love with the hotel owner’s daughter. This book shows glimpses of brilliance, offering beautifully developed characters and a touching romance. But while the mystery and historical aspects of this story are spot on—adeptly plotted and meticulously detailed—the supernatural facets fall short. The paranormal sequences have a disconnected feel to them (like the Black Mass that Bradson stumbles across in the woods) and don’t fuse organically to the rest of the storyline. Additionally, the horror components, particularly at the narrative’s climax, are sadly clichéd and uninspired.
A novel that offers a moving love story but fails to deliver strongly
imagined and integrated supernatural elements.