Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Shortcut in Time

This is Charles Dickinson's first venture into the time travel genre, and he has succeeded in creating a charming adventure with somewhat of a jarring surprise ending. One day Josh Winkler, living happily with his 15-year old daughter and doctor wife, accidentally manages to project himself back in time about 15 minutes. That's enough to shake him up but his wife really doesn't believe his story. Things take a more disturbing turn for everyone when a young girl from 1908 turns up at the same spot that Winkler first lost his grip on time.

From this point forward the adventure is on and it eventually culminates in Winkler's own daughter finding herself in an orphanage in 1918 just before the flu epidemic hits the United States long and hard. Using old newspapers and library microfilm, Winkler is able to track both his daughter and the young lady who suddenly appeared in his life from 1908. After he finds his daughter's death notice in a November 1918 newspaper, the race is on to get her back into the present before the date of her death.

The novel is a page-turner and as I got down to the last few pages I started to wonder how in the world Dickinson was going to tie everything together in the few pages left to him. That led to my one problem with the book. The ending is so abrupt, leaving me with so many questions, that I actually found myself wondering if some pages had been lost from the end of the book. The way that the story ended leaves A Shortcut in Time crying for a sequel. Whether or not Dickinson intends to give us one someday is not something I've heard one way or the other.

Time travel fans should not miss this one...just be prepared for the sudden stop that the rollercoaster makes at the end.

Rated at: 4.0

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