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Killing Time: A Novel [Hardcover]

Linda Howard
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 14 2005
Returning to the entrancing supernatural territory of her popular novels Dream Man and Son of the Morning, New York Times bestselling author Linda Howard has written a sizzling new novel that is her most daring, exciting, and original yet.

In 1985, with much fanfare, a time capsule was buried under the front lawn of a small-town county courthouse, to be reopened in 2085. But just twenty years later, in the dead of night, the capsule is dug up, its contents stolen. That same night, one of the contributors to the capsule is brutally slain in his home–with no sign of forced entry or indication of a struggle. One by one, others who had placed items in the time capsule are murdered.

Besides his suspicions about the sudden, mysterious appearance of Nikita Stover, the chief investigator, Knox Davis, has absolutely no leads. And while Nikita’s no murderer, she seems to be hiding plenty of secrets. With more at stake than anyone else realizes, the smart-talking Nikita is determined to catch this cunning killer–while at the same time battling her own deepening feelings for a man and for a world in which she doesn’t belong.

When readers crave a seductive novel of unrelenting suspense with a paranormal twist, Linda Howard delivers time and again . . . make that Killing Time–a captivating, character-rich story that races along on a breathless plot full of action and intimacy, romance and danger, thrills and intrigue.

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Review

'Linda Howard meshes hot sex, emotional impact, and gripping tension.' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY 'Linda Howard is a superbly original storyteller.' Iris Johansesn 'You can't read just one Linda Howard.' Catherine Coutler 'Linda Howard's sensual stories will make your heart beat a little faster...' LITERARY TIMES --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Linda Howard is the award-winning author of many New York Times bestsellers, including To Die For, Kiss Me While I Sleep, Cry No More, Dying to Please, Open Season, Mr. Perfect, All the Queen’s Men, Now You See Her, Kill and Tell, and Son of the Morning. She lives in Alabama with her husband and two golden retrievers.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Killing Time by Linda Howard Aug. 15 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In January of 1985, a time capsule is buried next to the flagpole in front of the Peke County, KY Courthouse. Twenty years later, the time capsule mysteriously disappears and the only thing the security camera reveals is an instant flash of light. Chief Investigator Knox Davis is mystified by this but doesn't have long to investigate due to the murder of a prominent attorney. At the crime scene, Knox discovers Nikita Stover snooping around. Although Nikita claims to be an FBI agent, Knox isn't buying that. Nikita has a slight accent and doesn't understand common terminology. When Knox threatens to arrest her, Nikita confesses she is an FBI agent, but from 200 years in the future, and has been sent back to try to find the contents of the missing time capsule; one of which holds the secret to time travel.

While Knox and Nikita try to track down the missing time capsule, a killer from the future is stalking them with the intent to murder Nikita. Although Nikita and Knox are fully aware she will eventually have to return to the future, they cannot deny their growing attraction for one another.

Fast-paced and filled with action and romance, this is an entertaining read. Although some questions remain unanswered, Linda Howard, as always, delivers her readers and fans an intriguing paranormal suspense.
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1.0 out of 5 stars So disappointing! Aug. 30 2005
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Give this one a miss or get it from your local library. This is definitely not up to Linda Howard's usual standards. The characters in this book are flat and emotionless, the time travel elements are crude and not well-developed. I found myself skipping pages to get to the end of the book.
I have been an avid reader of romance for decades and have, like many other readers, settled on my favourite authors whose books I buy without question. With the build-up generated by publishers in anticipation of new releases, I get so excited about a new release that I buy as soon as it becomes available, only to feel let down and frustrated once I've read it - this really is sub-standard work. Come on, Linda, please don't disappoint us like this.
If this is an intention to attract new readers and expand the reader base, then its not going to work with this book. Linda's loyal readers will be disappointed like me, and any new readers will be one-time readers because Killing Time is a mediocre, unmemorable book.
On top of it, the fact that popular authors are now being released in hardcover is an irritation for loyal readers who have been buying those authors books for years and building their popularity - why do we have to pay so much when we have been happy with paperbacks from the same author for the last 30 years! Anyone who says wait for the paperback to be released a year later, doesn't understand the anticipation of new book releases by favourite authors. I will definitely not be going out to buy her future books without trying to get them from the library first to see if they are worth a purchase for my keepers shelf.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not her Best by Far Aug. 24 2005
Format:Hardcover
After getting used to wonderful books full of emotion and witty dialog, this book fell pretty flat. Having a leading lady as an assassin was pretty novel, but her personality felt phoney. Her escape and evasion tactics at the beginning of the book are pretty spunky and showed great promise for entertainment value, but as soon as her leading man arrives, it's all down hill. The action in the book was good, but the plot twists a bit too contrived. And, the clincher was the lack of chemistry between the two main characters. If it had been any other author I would have given her another star, but compared to other LH books, this one was disappointing.
For excellent examples of Linda Howards' talent try "To Die For" or "Mr. Perfect" for a good laugh, or if you're in the mood for stories of women who go through heart wrenching moments but prevail with intelligence, guts and class go for "Cry No More" or "Son of the Morning".
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Supernatural Star July 16 2005
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
supernatural star f a great novel that is a must read. There is nothing ordinary about this author. Also read her other works: Dream Man and Son of the Morning as well as Fire In The Ice by K. Stewart
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.8 out of 5 stars  153 reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gets better toward the end Nov. 1 2005
By Salty Girl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I almost gave up on this book, but forced myself to finish because, after all, it IS a Linda Howard book. However, the qualities I usually love in Howard's work were absent until near the end of the book. I usually love her heroines.... she has the ability to create strong, yet vulnerable heroines you can really identify with (see After the Night, Dream Man, and MacKenzie's Mountain for the best such heroines.) The reader is closed off from Nikita's history for most of the stoy, so it was like watching a manniquin in action. Just not very engaging.

The book was very plot intensive, to the exclusion of the romance between the H&H, which almost seemed like an afterthought. Change Nikita's gender to a male, take out the obligatory sex scene, and the story doesn't suffer. Hmmmm..... that's a clue that the romance aspect was almost non-existant.

About 80% of the way into the book it got much better. The insight into Nikita's situation was actually quite interesting and pulled me back into the story.

I don't want to slam the book too much, because I appreciate the fact that Linda Howard is obviously trying to keep her writing fresh by trying her hand at other subgenres. I really enjoyed Son of the Morning and To Die For, both of which were quite different from standard Linda Howard fare but still worked because of great leading characters whose unstoppable attraction for each other drives the plot. When you write as much she does, maybe it is inevitable that sometimes you will strike out.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Loyal readers? Dec 30 2005
By Susan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have spent hours reading and rereading Linda Howard's earlier books. This one had only a few whiffs of classic Howard. For new readers, go for Kill and Tell, Mr. Perfect, Now You See Her, Son of the Morning, Dying to Please, etc.

For loyal readers, I have gotten so much pleasure from Howard's novels over the years that I don't begrudge the bucks I paid for the the HB of this one. Give her a break. She has earned it.

For Linda. You're too good for this. Get a new editor.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Killing my adoration of Linda Howard... July 27 2005
By Kim H. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A series of unusual murders in a small Kentucky town arouses the professional and personal interest of chief county investigator Knox Davis. They also attract the attention of FBI agent Nikita Stover - who is not what she seems and has an agenda of her own. Despite their initial distrust, Knox believes Nikita when she is forced to confess her big secret. The two of them work together while fighting their growing physical attraction, to foil a far-reaching plot that could have a profound impact on the present and the future.

While this time-travel/suspense/romance is well-paced, the central characters - especially Nikita - are hard to connect with. I found I just wasn't emotionally invested in the relationship between Knox and Nikita, which is a big hurdle to overcome in a romance novel! There were also some holes in the plot and obvious questions left unanswered that made it hard to stay focused on the story at hand.

Once apon a time, Linda Howard, crafted the best mix of romance, suspense and mystery that you could find on the shelves. But her last few novels, including Killing Time, just aren't on a par with her earlier work. If this was your first LH novel, go back and read anything published before Cry No More (Dream Man, After the Night, Shades of Twilight, Mr. Perfect, Dying to Please, etc. etc.) - they are all 5-star-plus efforts and will really show you what LH can do when she's at her best.

While Killing Time is a better read than many other books of this genre, wait for the paperback or borrow it from the library and save yourself some money. I wish I had!
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Killing time is exactly what I did, July 25 2005
By reader from Denton TX - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
wading through this time travel/romance/mystery that wasn't. I hate to be seen as picking on Linda Howard--I didn't like her last book, either--but have to agree with another reviewer that her pre-Cry No More novels are far better than her recent works.

Killing Time's promising prologue introduces us to our hero, Knox Davis, an insatiably curious and observant 15-year-old who, with his father, watches as the town leaders bury a time capsule, to be opened in 100 years. Even the first chapter, set twenty years later, begins well, with Knox now a criminal investigator for the Sheriff's Office, discovering in fairly rapid order that unusual things have been happening in his town: the time capsule is missing, a farm has been vandalized, and a local attorney has been killed by, of all things, an ancient spear. But with the introduction of Nikita Stover, an FBI agent from 200 years in the future, it all begins to fall apart. Nikita is not very interesting, Knox swallows her story of time travel with hardly a blink, characters we've met disappear never to be seen or heard again as Nikita and Knox run around "investigating" while simulatenously lusting for one another. The "mystery" is so thin as to be invisible--clearly existing only as a weak frame on which to hang the romance and time travel oddities, and the denouement is unimaginative and feels tacked on. Knox eventually betrays every oath he's ever taken as a criminal investigator--dumping bodies, concealing facts, destroying evidence, all apparently without a single qualm, and false leads and never answered questions lead the reader on a wild goose chase, with no resolution. Why, for instance, were the chickens killed and the tractor tires flattened? Where did the spear come from? Why, when Nikita is traumatized after killing a man, does Knox ask "is this your first body?" implying he had vast experience, when as a small county investigator, it would be unlikely he had ever killed anyone either? Why is Nikita said to never laugh when she is described when meeting the motel clerk as someone with "an easy laugh"? Why couldn't Nikita use Byron's links to return to the future? I think there are probably contradictions and inconsistencies in the time travel logistics, too, but I wasn't interested enough to try to figure them out.

Howard is--or has been--much better than this boring, dull, uneventful, amateurish, and at times downright silly offering which I barely managed to finish. I've wondered before if she is reworking old, half-completed ideas from before she was a best-selling author, in order to feed the hungry beast of publisher and fans. Writing is hard work; even the best writers agree on that. Killing Time does not read like hard work, but like a deadline met.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Something to think about Dec 14 2005
By lira2910 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Let me preface by saying --

I have been a dedicated and loyal Linda Howard fan for over 10 years. I understand that as the market changes a writer must find some kind of way to mesh with a growing demand for a reflection of contemporary society.I see, not just from this novel but from the novel before it, that Linda Howard is feeling pressured to produce some kind of chirpy chick lit novels or some unrealistic fantstical reads. If anyone out there ever peruses Amazon or some of the reader boards to get a feel of fan reaction for future novels, someone please tell Linda Howard....

Don't!

This book was too bad to believe. I felt insulted, my intelligence especially, and most definitely my taste.I could not even make it all the way through the first time. The second time, I gritted my teeth and bore the pain, because, after all, Linda Howard wrote it. I don't even want to reiterate anything that happened in this book. This review is for all of those fans out there who look for Linda Howard with visions of "Dream Man," "After the Night," "All the Queens Men" and the too many to name GREAT books of Linda Howard. This is not the one. So dig out those old Linda Howard's, and get to reading.
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