Time of Departure
by Douglas Schofield
Cover Artist: Bridge and cityscape by Duplass / Shutterstock
Review by Mel Jacob
Minotaur Books Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781250106209
Date: 01 November 2016 List Price $16.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Doulas Schofield begins Time of Departure as a straightforward mystery novel that soon leads to a hunt for a serial killer. That person killed at least seven women thirty years ago. However, it then evolves into a timeslip romance with strong hints of the paranormal.
When a strange older man accosts Claire Talbot and congratulates her on winning her court case, she isn't quite sure what to think. He also tells her she's beautiful and hints he'll talk to her more later. Puzzled, she dismisses the incident. Later a file is delivered to her office about a serial killer who murdered multiple women thirty years ago.
When Claire is attacked in the parking lot after a reception at her boss' home, the strange man, Marc Hastings, comes to her rescue. She asks about the files left at her office, and he admits sending the data. He had worked on the case and knew one of the victims.
A road construction crew discovers human remains. One of the bodies has a ring that had belonged to one of the missing women. Dental records identify her as Amanda Jordan. The other woman was pregnant and shot, but does not seem to be related to the missing women's case. Amanda was not shot and only later do they discover she was poisoned.
By dint of hard work and new technology, suspicions coalesce around one man. Marc and Claire find the remains of the rest of the victims hidden in his cabin, but the judge throws out the case because they didn't have a viable reason for searching the premises.
Paranormal elements abound. Claire is subject to vague premonitions she eventually learns to trust. Marc is a handsome, super-fit older man some describe as Harrison Ford. The ending is ambiguous and leaves it to the reader to decide what happened to Claire. Schofield also wrote Storm Rising.