A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong #BookReview #Mystery #Thriller #TimeTravel

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 Atkinson 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 Mitchell had been enjoying a half day off, only to be discovered that night strangled and left for dead . . . exactly one hundred and fifty years before Mallory is 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 her new 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.

In A Rip Through TimeNew York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong introduces a brand-new series mixing mystery, romance, and fantasy with thrilling results.

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What’s it about (in a nutshell):

A Rip Through Time by Kelly Armstrong is the fun and thrilling first book in the Rip Through Time series. Mallory Atkinson is a police detective in current-day Vancouver, Canada. She’s in Scotland visiting her Nan, who only has days to live when she captures the attention of a serial killer. On her daily run, Mallory is attacked by the serial killer. She is transported back to 1869 and Catriona Mitchell’s body, who is also being attacked in the same way and in the very same alley. She hopes that catching the Victorian serial killer will transport her back to her current time. Still, she faces many challenges along the way and many dangerous situations.

Initial Expectations (before beginning the book):

I love, love, love time travel stories, and one with a mystery going back 150 years is just too delicious of a tale for me to pass up. The cover encompasses both periods, and the Sherlock Holmes feel of the past depiction makes me particularly excited. The Victoria period is my past favorite era, and I can’t wait to go back in time with the main character.

Actual Reading Experience:

This will be brief as to not give away any spoilers. The brevity is absolutely no reflection on the book. I absolutely adored reading it and look forward to future novels in the series.

As I mentioned in my initial expectations, I love the Victorian era – the time of Sherlock Holmes and unrelenting social norms. I found it fascinating to follow Mallory/Catriona as she navigated a world where women were the “angels of the hearth” and much too delicate for detective or forensics work. The real challenges she would have faced are all covered expertly and with superb attention to detail.

I also loved all the twists and turns that held me absolutely riveted from beginning to end. Lastly, that ending was not the old tried-and-true time travel ending – instead, it left lots of questions, and I absolutely enjoyed that, especially knowing there is more to come.


The story is told by Mallory in the first-person narration, which makes the tale very relatable. She reacts to Victorian Scotland as any of us would, allowing me to suspend disbelief easily. She is intelligent, determined, capable, and very adaptable and resilient. She has excellent people skills and is a keen observer of what’s going on around her. Her narration flowed exquisitely and kept the suspense high at all times.

To Read or Not to Read

If you love crime thrillers and time travel, particularly to the Victorian era, you will not want to miss this fun and thrilling story!

26 Replies to “A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong #BookReview #Mystery #Thriller #TimeTravel”

    1. I think it was very well handled. She told details that were unexpected and interesting and she chose not to follow the normal pattern of these type of stories at crucial points. Very good!


  1. Great review! I added this to my Scribd list, I’m a big Kelley Armstrong fan and I can’t wait to find out how she tackled the time travel trope 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you will like it. I enjoyed how she handled it and loved that she went against the time travel norm in a couple of places.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I also love time travel and this time period. Somehow I’ve got to find time to start this series, and I hate that I missed it on NG. Great review, Tessa!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah I love time travel stories, AND I love mystery stories set in the Victorian era bc of Sherlock so uh…yeah this sounds right up my alley!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoy a good, well-written time travel story, and this seems to fit the bill. Lovely review, Tessa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The main character is iffy on time paradoxes too, so she decides to just go with her instincts. She would probably make SciFy time travelers gasp in horror at her choices 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I just loved it. It’s so interesting to see someone from this time period trying to navigate a different one, especially a female detective.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This sounds really good, Tessa. I love stories with a strong sense of place. The voice of the book sounds strong too, and I like your description of the twists and turns as well as the unexpected ending. Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful review, Tessa. So glad you didn’t give anything away. I don’t read a lot of Time Travel book, although I used to, but if it is well done, I am in. Of course the setting definitely calls to me!

    Liked by 1 person

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