cover image Lost in Time

Lost in Time

A.G. Riddle. Head of Zeus, $24.95 (416p) ISBN 978-1-80454-176-0

Crichtonesque thrillers don’t come much better than this intricate outing from Riddle (The Extinction Trials), which combines a fantastic premise—a time-travel device known as Absolom is used to imprison dangerous criminals in the prehistoric past—with a closed-circle whodunit. One of Absolom’s inventors, Sam Anderson, is visiting his wife’s grave in Nevada with their children, 19-year-old Adeline and 11-year-old Ryan, when he’s wrongfully arrested. He’s charged with killing Nora Thomas, his lover and a colleague in developing Absolom, and Adeline is also implicated. When someone smuggles a message into his holding cell threatening to frame Adeline for the murder if Sam does not confess, he’s forced to submit to the time exile he himself invented. While Sam navigates a harsh past Earth, the bereft Adeline devotes herself to identifying which of the remaining people behind Absolom is the true murderer and finding a way to rescue her father. Riddle keeps the twists coming, including a mind-bending jaw-dropper that sets up the book’s second half. By creating sympathetic and complex characters, the author makes suspending disbelief easy. Readers won’t be able to turn the pages fast enough. (Sept.)