A time travel murder mystery, set in a female-centric alternate world.'An astonishing debut ... Breathtakingly tender and wryly understated' NEW YORK TIMES . 'Genre-defying ... Witty and inventive' GUARDIAN . 1967. Four female scientists invent a time travel machine. But then one of them suffers a breakdown and puts the whole project in peril... 2017. Ruby knows her Granny Bee was the scientist who went mad, but they never talk about it. Until they receive a message from the future, warning of an elderly woman's violent death... 2018. Odette found the dead women at work - shot in the head, door bolted from the inside. Now she can't get her out of her mind. Who was she? And why is everyone determined to cover up her murder? 'A page-turning temporal safari. Part murder mystery, part extrapolation of a world in which time travel has become a commercial reality, it is written with an acute sense of psychological nuance' GUARDIAN . 'Intriguing and multi-layered' DAILY MAIL . 'Captivating, delightful and thoroughly original' JENNIE MELAMED. 'Troubling and inspiring, comforting and horrifying' SCIFINOW .
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781788540117
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Book Review: Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas - Reviewed by CloggieA (18 Sep 2018)
5 stars The Psychology of Time Travel is the first novel by British psychologist, copywriter, bookbinder, doll’s house maker and author, Kate Mascarenhas. It’s 1967 and Barbara, Grace, Margaret and Lucille are pioneers, building a time machine. Successfully, because these are smart ladies with backgrounds in nuclear fission, cosmology, thermodynamics, and radio waves. But one of their number is adversely affected by their time travels, and is banished from further research.
In mid-2017, psychologist Ruby Rebello is visiting her Grandma Barbara when an anonymous note, folded into an origami rabbit, arrives. The note announces an inquest, in February 2018, into the death of an elderly lady, identity unknown. Barbara immediately recognises it as a message from one of the pioneering time travel team, from whom she has been estranged for some five decades. Ruby has been warned not to mention her grandmother’s time travel, but now Barbara shares her story.
In early 2018, University student Odette Sophola discovers a dead body in a locked room in the basement of a toy museum. It looks like murder, but the door was bolted from inside. Deeply affected by it all, she attends the inquest and is frustrated by the open finding. Despite some effective counselling, she can’t let it go, and is determined to solve this puzzling case.
Mascarenhas easily evokes her settings and time periods, and her characters are believable: mostly appealing for all their faults and flaws, or suitably repugnant when required. Her world building is subtly achieved without any boring information dumps.
A novel about time travel can be expected to jump around in time and, while there is potential for confusion, each chapter is clearly marked with the month and year, as well as the narrative perspective, so as long as the reader pays attention to this, uncertainty is minimal.
As well as a time travel story, Mascarenhas gives the reader an excellent closed-room murder mystery. She also explores the spectrum of mental illnesses that may be exacerbated by time travel, and how these manifest (attitudes to death, in particular, are interesting), the plasticity of memory, the toxic effects of unopposed power, and the tacit approval of hazing that may exist in a large organisation. This is a fascinating and thought-provoking debut novel. Mascarenhas is an author to watch.
Kate Mascarenhas is a half-Irish, half-Seychellois midlander. She has worked as a copywriter, an assistant psychologist, and a bookbinder. She lives with her husband in a small terraced house which she is slowly filling with Sindy dolls. This is her first novel.
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