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Time of Departure    by Douglas Schofield order for
Time of Departure
by Douglas Schofield
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2016 (2015)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Douglas Schofield's Time of Departure starts like the typical legal mystery, starring driven Florida state prosecutor Claire Talbot, recently promoted to Felony Division Chief. She has to deal with a great deal of hassle from colleagues and police because of her sex and her youth, but her boss, Sam Grayson, has her back.

Before Claire was born, eight women disappeared in the area, assumed to be victims of a serial killer. Now, highway construction unearths two female bodies buried together, one quickly identified as one of the original missing women but the other nameless - and pregnant. Claire reopens this very cold case.

While this goes on, she is stalked by a very handsome older gentleman. He turns out to be retired cop Marc Hastings, one of the original investigators in the case. And he copied all the official files from his time (some of which have since gone missing) which he shares with Claire.

Claire feels an odd affinity - and a strong attraction to the much older Hastings. They end up working the case together, under the radar as Claire has been warned off it and Marc is no longer a policeman. An arrest is made, but the perp is released due to tainted evidence (the latter blamed on Claire's involvement). She's told to clear her desk.

This is where a fairly standard story takes an unusual time travel turn, with a twisty ending that explains all the mysterious earlier encounters in Claire's life. If you're looking for something rather different in a mystery, this is one you might well appreciate.

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