cover image A Matter of Time

A Matter of Time

Glen Cook. Night Shade (Diamond, dist.), $14.99 trade paper (318p) ISBN 978-1-59780-279-6

A corpse in an alley kicks off an unusual mystery in this reissued 1985 time travel tale, a rare divergence from far-flung space action and noir fantasy for Cook (Gilded Latten Bones). In 1975 St. Louis, Mo., police detectives Cash and Harald investigate a man's death, but the further they dig, the more evidence they find for an unlikely hypothesis: the fresh corpse is of someone who vanished over 50 years before, and time travel is the only explanation. Desperate to find another answer, they delve into the secret history of their only real suspect, the elderly, reclusive Fiala Groloch. Meanwhile, story lines unfolding in the past and future shed light on the larger picture. While the intriguing murder mystery and clever temporal showmanship were impressive in 1985, last-minute reveals and clumsy convolutions fall short for the more jaded reader of 2011. (Apr.)