Susan Squires writes with a detailed, gripping style, and her stories are always well-plotted and engrossing. A Twist in Time
hews to that norm but also has its differences - for example, it doesn't contain any vampires (like her 'Companion' series) but instead involves time-traveling.
When Lucy Rossano
is taken to see a time machine in the Super Collider Lab - a time machine apparently made by Leonardo da Vinci, which is detailed in an old book she owns - she little realizes that this is the start of a complete upheaval in her life. She is the one to test the machine
and finds herself momentarily in England during the Dark Ages - and an unexpected passenger
accompanies her on the way back to present-day America. Or is it present day?
Lucy arrives in a hospital car park with a severely injured barbarian who speaks something like German or Scandinavian. He is treated in the hospital, but Lucy realizes
that things aren't quite right - she hasn't made it back to the same date, for a start, and she might be in trouble for not returning immediately with the time machine.
Lucy escapes with her barbarian, getting help from a neighbor with his own secrets, and eventually installs herself on a sailing boat, trying to communicate with Galen,
this half-Danish, half-English man.
Speaking a mixture of Latin and English with some Germanic thrown in, they gradually being to understand each other. Galen
learns quickly, and as he heals he begins to understand his situation. Now people are after Lucy for her knowledge of the time machine, and she knows she can't 'disappear' forever. Galen has his own regrets
- he didn't achieve what his parents had hoped for him. Can Lucy and Galen keep each other safe?
Parts of this book reminded me of one of Susan Squires' earliest books, Danegeld, and her knowledge of this period of history comes through well, particularly with regard to the language - I
greatly enjoyed reading the old English and Danish as Lucy and Galen try to communicate.
Action doesn't predominate this novel - a large part is set on the sailing boat in close quarters where Lucy and Galen are hiding.
Though the end is a little facile, with Galen finding his place in the world, the overall story was enjoyable. It
contains less of the blood and rape that some of her more recent books have, and that
- for me - is also a plus.