rainycityreflections's Reviews > The 13th Hour

The 13th Hour by Richard Doetsch
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's review
Dec 27, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: science-fiction, time-travel
Read in December, 2011

I wish I could give this book 4.5 stars--it was that good! The premise of the book is that a man who has seen his wife murdered is given the chance--well, 12 chances, really--to travel backward in time 12 hours, one hour at a time, in order to prevent her from being murdered. As I have mentioned in reviews of other books on my shelves, I am drawn to books and movies involving time travel, so this was an easy book for me to get into. But even readers who don't much like time travel stories might like this one for its careful plotting and tight writing. On those bases alone, I would have given this book five stars--little details that become significant in a "had-I-only-known" way are planted in each chapter, and the main character is able to take advantage of them due to his backward time jumps, getting him closer in each chapter to solving/preventing his beloved wife's murder. And by the way, to accentuate the fact that the main character travels backward in time an hour at a time for a total of 12 hours, the book starts with chapter 12 and works backward to chapter 1--a nice touch, I thought. Even as the main character uncovers what he thinks is THE clue or event that will allow him to save his wife, he sees her die again and again as other problems arise. The book is like an onion that is peeled back layer by layer.

While a couple of the characterizations are a bit hackneyed and some of the exposition is done via rather stilted dialog (this is the main reason for a less-than-five-star rating), for the most part the characters are interesting, and in a couple of instances I would even call them compelling--quite a feat for a book that falls into the thriller category. I will definitely be reading more books by this author!

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