by Scott Wieczorek
WITNESS THROUGH TIME, by Scott Wieczorek, could have easily been rated higher had I not correctly guessed the murderer very early on. It no longer held the element of suspense, which I think is so crucial for a good crime mystery experience. Having recently read The Girl on the Train and Silent in the Grave, I wasn't so easily misled. I realized that Mr. Wieczorek carefully unravels the mystery of everything he wants us to believe, steering us away from the murderer, until that awestruck moment when he reveals the gripping climax we didn’t see coming. But, I did.
For fifteen years in Cragg's Head Cove, four college girls go missing. The cases, dismissed as runaways, were never solved until the arrival of Glory Parker. With Glory’s “gift,” she slowly uncovers their bodies and learns that they were brutally murdered. Glory must find the murderer before s/he strikes again.
Because the identity of the murderer came as no surprise to me, I diverted my attention to other aspects of the story. There were many things I enjoyed, and a few I didn’t.
After reading a few fairly slow paced novels, I really welcomed a faster storytelling approach. The elaborate descriptions of key scenes were like rich characters that enhanced my emotional connections to them. Mr. Wieczorek did a fantastic job setting the scene in which Glory found the first body. I felt that I was right there witnessing the horrific act that was carried out as a young woman's life was brutally taken away from her. It was so terrifying and dark to witness humanity at its worst.
However, at other times, I felt that the story seemed too staged. Glory’s sudden inoperably medical condition, which no doubt was added to excite readers, felt like a perfectly orchestrated ending in which whatever could go wrong for Glory, did. Despite this, I still enjoyed Witness Through Time very much. Glory will no doubt captivate readers with her astute crime solving skills and her talent to pierce the veil of time.
DIGRESSION: What was the last suspense/thriller book you read that kept you guessing until the very end?