a review by Evie Kendal
Rhonda Roberts’ Hoodwink follows the career of fledgling Time Investigator Kannon Dupree as she graduates from training and is finally authorised to start using the “time portal” to solve mysteries from the past. While in the first instalment of this series, Gladiatrix, Kannon was investigating her own unusual past, in Hoodwink she has been hired as a private detective by a wealthy family with political influence. The National Time Administration is under threat and if Kannon refuses this solo mission it is likely to be shut down, however time and budget constraints make it unlikely she will succeed – which would also lead to the demise of the organisation. Caught in a classic Catch 22, Kannon accepts the mission and has only a few days to solve a mystery that has lasted for decades.
When famous Hollywood director Earl Curtis’ body is discovered in the present day, Kannon is ordered to go back to 1939 when he went missing and discover who killed him. Taking on the role of assistant to Mr Curtis, Kannon tries to determine who among his friends and staff had the greatest motive for killing him, and also why his body was covered in occult runes when it was found. She hopes that solving this case will bring closure to Curtis’ elderly widow in the present, and allow her to move on and form a real relationship with her grandson. While the plot is not as intense as most of Gladiatrix, the setting is equally interesting and the author’s research into 1930’s Hollywood makes it an engaging story.
While a lot of what I have to say about the Timestalker series I have already said in my review of Book 1 there is one significant difference in writing style between the two books – Hoodwink is much better. The prose is prettier and easier to read, the vocabulary more advanced and the over-the-top “Australianisms” are absent in Kannon’s speech in this novel. Overall these differences made the book a lot more enjoyable for me and made the protagonist more likeable.
If you read and liked Gladiatrix (and not just because of the ancient Greek theme) you will certainly like Hoodwink. If you didn’t read the first book in this series it is possible to pick up at Book 2 without much confusion. This series is definitely pitched at adults and as the books are quite long I recommend it for readers who don’t mind a significant time commitment this holidays.
Happy New Year!