Enjoyable, fast read..., March 28, 2010 4 stars
Although the author's prose is overwrought and excessively philosophical and maudlin at times, and despite the fact that the characters are so one-dimensional, I did enjoy this thriller. The concept of time travel is not new, but the starts and stops at each hour along the path backward in time as Nick races to prevent the murder of his wife (and others along the way) is definitely a different take on the typical story involving manipulation of time.
The story begins with the main character, Nick, in an interrogation room where he is being held on suspicion of murdering his wife. A stranger appears in the room and gives him a special watch and some curious instructions -- he is being given a chance to discover who killed his wife and why. There is a caveat, however. Nick is only allowed to go back one hour with each backward move and each time it seems that something untoward and worse happens as he races against the 12 hour clock to try to prevent his wife's murder that evening.
He blunders along trying to stop events from resulting in several tragedies and most of the novel is centered on preventing a burglary and a plane crash. The science of this time traveling device is not explained though the reader learns later how it came to be in Nick's possession and why. The central theme of the story, other than what a man is prepared to do to save his beloved wife, seems to be that each action a person commits has a ripple effect that cannot be foreseen. Perhaps a call to remind readers to take more care and give more thought to what we might think are situations and activities that have no significance to anyone else. Every hour, something Nick does or doesn't do has an affect that he didn't quite anticipate and he generally has to rethink his plans.
I enjoyed this novel and would read another by this author.