Time of Departure

This book left me feeling surprised and totally schizo. Surprised because I started reading it without knowing anything about it other than that it was a thriller and the protagonist was a thirty-something female prosecutor named Claire Talbot in Florida. Beyond that, I had no expectations. The surprise came halfway through when a tectonic shift in the story happened, and a little schizo because my reaction to the story (and my experience reading it) was so positive for the first half and so “meh” for the second!

I loved the first half of it, as it has strong characters, interesting legal maneuverings (I am a sucker for well-drawn courtroom scenes, especially if the characters are strong and believable). The mystery about Claire’s new friend Marcus and why he knows seemingly everything about her, including things from many years ago, unfolds gradually and had me wondering WTH? As a retired policeman with way more information than he seemingly should have had about a string of disappearances in the area back in the 1970s, Marcus is portrayed as both a suspect and a love interest for Claire, despite the difference in their ages. Great chemistry between the two!!!

It’s not possible to describe how the big shift in the story happens without spoiling it, but it does become a bit fantastic, and veers close to a genre that is not my style. So, that may account for the fact that the second half of the book sort of lost me. I think that people who find the style up their alley would be mesmerized, and would easily award this five stars. I give it four because it was well-written, the suspense was good, the characters were well developed, the action was reasonable, and I had such a good time reading the first half. Good for thriller readers, and anyone for whom a big dose of willing suspension of disbelief is not an issue. (I TRIED to just go with it, but it got away from me a bit. I look forward to discussing it with other readers).

I appreciate the opportunity to read an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Four stars!