Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart
Published by Ballantine on February 22, 2022
Genres: Mystery, Science Fiction
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
A locked-room murder mystery set at a hotel for time travelers—in which a detective must solve an impossible crime even as her own sanity crumbles—from the author of The Warehouse.
For someone with January Cole’s background, running security at a fancy hotel shouldn’t be much of a challenge.
Except the Paradox is no ordinary hotel. Here, the ultra-wealthy guests are costumed for a dozen different time periods, all anxiously waiting to catch their “flights” to the past. And proximity to the timeport makes for an interesting stay. The clocks run backwards on occasion—and, rumor has it, ghosts stroll the halls.
Now, January’s job is about to get a whole lot harder. Because the U.S. government is getting ready to privatize time-travel technology—and a handful of trillionaires have just arrived to put down their bids.
Meanwhile there’s a blizzard rolling in, and the timestream’s acting strange. Which means nobody’s leaving until further notice.
And there’s a murderer on the loose.
Or at least, that’s what January suspects. Except the corpse in question is one that somehow only she can see. And the accidents stalking their prestigious guests…well, the only way a killer could engineer those is by operating invisibly and in plain sight, all at once. Which is surely impossible.
There’s a reason January can glimpse what others can’t. But her ability is also destroying her grip on reality—and forcing her to confront secrets of her own.
Because here at the Paradox Hotel, the past is waiting around every corner.
The Paradox Hotel is a strange place. It is a place people go to travel in time and see different events in history. With that comes some different challenges for head of Security, January Cole. People are people and they try to sometimes bring things back with them they shouldn’t. Like raptor eggs because who doesn’t want a little souvenir from their trip. But strange things are happening at the Paradox right now. Clocks sometimes goes backwards, ghosts or afterimages are seen in the halls and the coffee carafe never has coffee in it when January wants some. All the weirdness started when the four buyers for the hotel showed up to bid on it. That is when January found the dead body that isn’t really dead yet.
This is a strange book. I really liked a lot of the concepts in it. January used to be like a time cop going up and down the timestream making sure no one tries to change history. But because she did tha,t now she is unstuck, meaning sometimes she sees moments from the past or the near future like they are happening right now. This is how we learn about the love she lost and why we also know there will be or already has been a murder. I found a lot of this book pretty interesting in general but sometimes difficult to follow in a few places because of the time shuffle stuff.
January is sometimes a hard character to like as she tries to push away anyone who is nice to her. She lost the love of her life at that hotel and now the people who care the most for her are the ones she is trying to make a little bit miserable. Still the timeslip stuff and why it is happening at the hotel is extremely interesting and the who-dun-it and why was a good story. I found the ending fitting to a standalone story.
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