cover image A Murder in Time

A Murder in Time

Julie McElwain. Pegasus Crime (Norton, dist.), $25.95 (512p) ISBN 978-1-60598-974-7

McElwain’s disappointing debut boasts an unusual heroine, 26-year-old FBI special agent Kendra Donovan, who’s literally a wunderkind, having been part of an experimental super-babies program to see if genetic engineering could create smarter humans. In the present day, Kendra has been tracking a major-league terrorist, Vlad Balakirev, a “KGB agent turned merchant of death.” Her work on the Balakirev case gets her a spot on the final takedown in a Brooklyn warehouse, which is expected also to net his more respectable secret ally, Sir Jeremy Greene. But the operation goes south after one of her team proves to be a traitor. Kendra later vows to take Greene out, but her attempt on his life is preempted by another. When she flees, she’s somehow transported to 1815 England—where her insights into serial killers prove useful. Unfortunately, McElwain doesn’t make the psychology of an independent woman trapped in a very different era convincing. Agent: Jill Grosjean, Jill Grosjean Literary Agency. (Apr.)