Historical Mystery Meets Time Travel in A Rip Through Time
By Kelley ArmstrongApril 19, 2023
Writers are often asked if there’s a genre that they want to write about but haven’t. For me, it’s historical fiction. There is nothing like a historical novel to whisk me away to another place, another time, another world. So why haven’t I written one? Because I’m not a historian. Every time I started a historical novel, I dove into the research with abandon…and then abandoned the concept as I realized the impossibility of “getting it right.”
I came to realize that what mattered was capturing the period as best I could while telling a satisfying story. Still, I shied away until I was watching the TV version of The Alienist and thinking “What if one of the women helping the early criminalists was actually a modern-day detective?”
I love time travel and time slip stories, so I jumped on this idea. I would set it in Victorian Scotland, to pay homage to my roots. The detective would be Canadian because I am. While I considered alienism, the more I read, the more I was enraptured by early forensics. Did you know—? Okay, I’ll stop there, or this will turn into an overly enthusiastic amateur lecture. But can I just tell you how much fun I had with this research? With this book?
I didn’t choose the title “A Rip Through Time,” but when it was suggested, I jumped on it. One, there’s a Ripper connection (yes, the book is 20 years pre-Jack, but *spoiler redacted*) Two, Mallory doesn’t step through time; she rips through it. Third, in Canadian slang, to “go for a rip” means to go out for a good time with friends, and that fits this book perfectly for me. I hope you have a good time with it, and I hope you meet some new fictional friends along the way.
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