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Thursday 8 December 2016

‘Time Lapse’ by Lynne Kennedy

Published 31 August 2016.
ISBN: 9781535573009

Maggie Thornhill is a professor of digital photography in Washington D.C. and also acts as a consultant with local law enforcement agencies. Her skills have helped solve violent contemporary crimes and, in the process, she has shed light on some historical crimes.

It is New Year’s Eve and Maggie is celebrating in company with several friends, including her ex-boyfriend, T.J. Wade, a man for whom she still has feelings although she despises his promiscuity and dislikes his position as CEO of his family’s company dealing in weapons. One friend fails to turn up for the New Year celebration. Kate Brinkman, a woman younger than Maggie, who rents part of Maggie’s house, is discovered murdered. This is the latest in a succession of such murders. Several young women have been brutally slaughtered and butchered in Georgetown during the last few weeks, but there is one major difference, all the other victims were prostitutes and Kate worked in the accounts department of T.J. Wade’s firm. As the case progresses it becomes clear that T.J. Wade had been more closely involved with Kate than he cares to admit and several pieces of evidence incriminate him in the murders. Maggie does not want to believe T.J. is guilty but she cannot escape the knowledge that he had been missing from the New Year’s celebrations for longer than it should take to make a phone call, which was the reason he gave for his absence.

When Maggie examines photographs of the crime scenes she identifies several things in common with the crimes of Jack the Ripper in 19th Century London. Soon she finds herself investigating both the contemporary crimes in Georgetown, USA, and the Victorian murders in London, England.

A separate strand of the book is set in 1888 and follows Samuel Lindsey and his grandson Everett as they travel to London to meet Everett’s father, John Wilkerson, an actor. This meeting is at Everett’s insistence, determined to know the father who left before he was born. Lindsey hates Wilkerson and had never wanted his grandson to know of his existence. Another part of the Victorian story features Arthur Conan Doyle, who, coincidentally, also comes into contact with Wilkerson. Conan Doyle is interested in the Jack the Ripper murders and becomes involved with the Scotland Yard investigation of the crimes.

Time Lapse is one of a series of books featuring Maggie Thornhill and her law enforcement colleagues, which also involve investigations into historic crimes. Samuel Lindsey had been introduced in a previous book, Time Exposure, and I think it would be a good idea to read this before Time Lapse in order to understand the full back-story. The introduction of Conan Doyle, a well-known historical figure, whose life is well-documented, is not totally convincing, because of historical and language discrepancies.

The contemporary detective story was intriguing and contained some likeable characters. Above all I admired the solution to the Georgetown murders, which was both haunting and unexpected. Time Lapse is an interesting detective story set in two time-frames.
Reviewer: Carol Westron

Lynne Kennedy  was born in Brooklyn, New York. She obtained a Masters Degree in Science from Hofstra University, New York, and moved to San Diego, California in the early 80’s. In San Diego, Lynne worked as a museum director at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego, California for many years. In this capacity, she developed education programs, exhibitions and film projects on a number of timely science subject areas. She also worked with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department Crime Lab and the San Diego Police Department to develop forensic programs for teachers and students and conduct mystery nights for families. She has worked with experts at various historical museums, such as the Tenement Museum in New York, the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Coronado Historical Museum, in Coronado, to create innovative ways of bringing history to life. She began writing mysteries in 1995. History, digital photography and forensic science are personal interests and play significant roles in her novels. Her position in the museum community has also enabled her to network the community of experts needed to assist in her research and add authenticity to her books.  Lynne is married to John Kennedy!

Carol Westron is a successful short story writer and a Creative Writing teacher.  She is the moderator for the cosy/historical crime panel, The Deadly Dames.  Her crime novels are set both in contemporary and Victorian times.  The Terminal Velocity of Cats is the first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was published July 2013. Her latest book The Fragility of Poppies was published 10 June 2016.

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