Originally: 2010 – Lyrical Press
Edition reviewed: 2013 – Momentum
In forty years a new underground craze will start – splash parties. Time travellers known as ‘bricks’ will be thrown back in time, ‘lobbed’, and their actions in the past will cause a ‘splash’ as their presence disrupts the timelines. The back wash from the ‘splash’ mixed with the new drug tempus causes a high. It’s marginally illegal; police forces concentrate on controlling the drugs and noise caused by the splash parties, after all the timeline can’t be changed because it fixes itself.
Until the greatest brick of them all, Sniper, and his teknik Klaatu plan a lob that takes them farther back in time that anyone else. At a place called Ommem in the Netherlands in 2047 Sniper, his terrified girlfriend Patty and two other bricks go back in time to kill a child. The splash and backwash cause chaos.
Jay and his friend Spock are party goers; then they become victims. For Spock it’s the end of all partying, but for Jay it’s the beginning of a new life.
2050 – Jay has reformed, now he works for MI5 on secondment to Europol’s Temporal Crimes Unit. Beijing has been devastated by a splash and rumour has it that there is another attack planned somewhere in Europe.
Patty, real name Sandra Malone, is in a mental hospital in Devon, arrested after Ommem and imprisoned. She hears about Beijing, realises Sniper is probably going to do something crazier and escapes to track him down and kill him.
Sandra and Jay cross paths in Berlin. Later Sandra tracks down Jay in London for help. She has all the information MI5 need, but is scared to talk. No one can be trusted – there’s a mole on the inside. Jay’s old boss in Brussels offers his help.
But will they stop Sniper? Who is leaking information about the case? And who is funding the ‘lob’?
It took a bit of getting in to but once the action got going I couldn’t stop reading this book. It was intriguing and entertaining, a fast-paced thriller. The characters develop, Sandra especially ‘grows’ as a person, and their development is part of what drives the story. They are sympathetic and psychologically complex, driven by their convictions. The tension between those who survived Ommem and want to stop time splashes from causing chaos, and the people who are prepared to commit terrorist acts is the other cause of conflict that drives the story. Recommended for fans of sci-fi, crime and thriller, spy thrillers, this book is full of action, blood, gore and time travel, as well as geek in-jokes.
The next book in the series – True Path – was published in August. I might have to look for it; I want to know what happened to Sandra and Jay!