Before Anne After
A book review for a James R. Paddock


James R. Paddock

James R. Paddock has given us a truly twisted time travel tale, more braided and interwoven than a typical story. It’s coiled, curled, bent, twirled, and looped like a snake with a back ache trying to swallow its own tail. This is a thriller suspense mystery of wonderful proportions. If you are looking for ‘Back to the Future’ or even H.G.Wells’ ‘The Time Machine’ go away. This is more. It is contemporary and history swirled together like chocolate and vanilla in a swirly cone.

 In 1987 Anne is pregnant. Hot, tired and grumpy, she makes a few mistakes. Who hasn’t? Her husband makes a few more. What husband hasn’t. And it a blinding flash of light and a high pitched whine, she is thrown back to 1943, landing in the middle of a Navy barracks just as her water breaks. Can her husband and his team of scientists get her back? Can she even keep herself out of a mental institution while fighting off a Nazi spy and learn the secrets of her own family history?

 Paddock does a masterful job of throwing those nasty time paradoxes in our faces. He boldly lays them out and flays them open, skinning them down to the bare bones and daring us to recognize them and reconcile them. He doesn’t play nice with his story, giving us real people in horrifying situations, all struggling to make sense of their lives in the now…whichever now they are stuck in.



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