cover image The Paradox Hotel

The Paradox Hotel

Rob Hart. Ballantine, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-1-9848-2064-8

Time travel has been monetized in this stellar SF thriller from Hart (The Warehouse). The U.S. government charges the 1% “hundreds of thousands of dollars to see the first-ever public showing of Hamlet or visit the Library of Alexandria,” but it’s still losing money on the hyperexpensive operation. That leads to a privatization initiative, and several trillionaires arrive at the Paradox Hotel to make their proposal to buy the Einstein Intercentury Timeport. Their presence is a headache for hotel security head January Cole, who’s suffering deleterious health side effects from entering the time stream frequently and overwhelming grief from the accidental death of her lover, Mena, a waitress at the Paradox. When January sees a stabbed corpse in a guest room that no one else can see, including her smart-ass AI assistant, Ruby, she endeavors to determine whether there’s a real murder to investigate or whether it’s an apparition that’s a symptom of her illness. The twists keep coming without simplifying January’s mental struggles in this impressive melding of creative plotting and three-dimensional characters. Hart remains a writer to watch. Agent: Josh Getzler, HG Literary. (Feb.)