I’m really enjoying my trips through time with Crime Travel (an anthology of crime stories connected by a theme of time travel), and this latest trip from Heidi Hunter had a couple of nifty twists along the path to keep the reader guessing. It’s also got a killer opening line: “It was the sledgehammer in his left hand that told me it wasn’t going to be our usual Saturday Night.”
What follows is a very unusual Saturday Night for Joanna, who is dragged more-or-less willingly to her friend Anthony’s target: a home one of his dead relatives once owned, in which the local stories say is hidden a big-freaking-gem. She doesn’t really believe it, and points out that everyone involved with the hiding of said gem was either gunned down at the expensive party where it was intended to be fenced, or is just long gone (likely one of those people have the gem), but the house is about to be demolished, and Anthony, like many people in their home town, is desperate and out of cash.
What follows is a “fold in time” kind of story, where Joanna somehow accidentally steps through a curtain in time and ends up at the house in its glory, when the crime-syndicate family were in their prime, and everyone is dressed up for a party. Then she realizes it’s that party, where everyone ends up dead in a hail of bullets, and has to balance surviving, figuring out how to get back to her own time, and—just maybe—how to get her hands on a big-freaking-gem. As I said, the final few moments in the story (complete with a one-two twist) are really enjoyable, and I decided I liked Joanna very much.