I’m not always a fan of time loop books, so what did I think of this book about a woman trying to go back in time and prevent her son from committing a murder? Check out my Review of Wrong Place Wrong Time!
Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister
Published on August 2, 2022 by William Morrow
Synopsis: Late October. After midnight. You’re waiting up for your seventeen-year-old son. He’s late. As you watch from the window, he emerges, and you realize he isn’t alone: he’s walking toward a man, and he’s armed.
You can’t believe it when you see him do it: your funny, happy teenage son, he kills a stranger, right there on the street outside your house. You don’t know who. You don’t know why. You only know your son is now in custody. His future shattered.
That night you fall asleep in despair. All is lost. Until you wake . . .
. . . and it is yesterday.
And then you wake again . . .
. . . and it is the day before yesterday.
Every morning you wake up a day earlier, another day before the murder. With another chance to stop it. Somewhere in the past lies an answer. The trigger for this crime—and you don’t have a choice but to find it . . .
What Other Books Has Gillian McAllister Written?
I was not familiar with her books, but McAllister has published Anything You Say and Everything But the Truth (both 2017); then The Good Sister (2018), The Evidence Against You (2019), How to Disappear (2020), and That Night (2021). All are thrillers. Wrong Place Wrong Time seems to be the only of her books that has a sci-fi element, but most of her books seem to have family themes, like this one.
Review of Wrong Place Wrong Time
Me: a time loop book? Ugh.
I am not a huge fan of books with elements of time travel, quantum physics and the multiverse, time loops, etc.
I find those topics interesting in theory, but when added to fiction they, for me, add other things I don’t like. Things like messy love triangles, repetitive plot lines, and a lot of info dumping.
Plus, while I love Reese’s book club, I haven’t always been on board with her thriller picks. There was the book that made EVERYONE on my spoiler discussion post mad, and then there was the book most people liked but agreed was NOT a thriller as advertised.
So I went into Wrong Place Wrong Time with some trepidation. But I ended up liking it a lot and here’s why:
Wrong Place Wrong Time starts with a bang
As indicated in the synopsis, the book opens as Jen, a lawyer, wife and mother of a teenager, looks out her window and watches her son Todd murder a stranger. What? She has no idea who the victim is or why her son would kill him. Or anyone!
Clearly, Jen has been missing something. Missing a lot! She finally falls asleep, wondering what has suddenly gone so terribly wrong with her life.
Then she wakes up and it’s the day before.
Wrong Place Wrong Time was my kind of a time loop book.
I looked it up and a time loop is technically “a situation in which a period of time is repeated, sometimes several times, so that the characters in a book or movie have to live through a series of events again.”
Most time loop stories I’ve experienced have a character looping around and around in a circle, experiencing the same day over and over, like in Groundhog Day or books like In a Holidaze, Before I Fall, or Neverworld Wake.
The time travel in Wrong Place Wrong Time is more like a time spiral, in which the main character keeps getting sent further and further back in time. To me, it read more like a story told backwards, like All the Missing Girls, which I liked.
Wrong Place Wrong Time Had Some Interesting Surprises
I thought this “time spiral” structure was an interesting way to explore that. The plot wasn’t terribly complex, but reading the book was like peeling an onion layer by layer.
Jen thought she knew her son. And her husband. But with each spiral backward, she learns something new about herself, her family, her life. This made Wrong Place Wrong Time more philosophical than the average thriller. And it was still really suspenseful!
I really enjoyed Wrong Place Wrong Time. I highly recommend it to fans of women’s fiction, thrillers, and sci-fi books.
Have you read this? What is your opinion of time loop, time travel, and multiverse books? Tell me in the comments.