What, No Roses?
I am always eager to get my hands on a good time travel book. Some of my all- time faves feature time travel. I will generally give anything in this genre a shot. Not being a big fan of the Roaring Twenties, I’m glad I pick this one despite the time period.
Dora Duncan is a TV reporter who, at one time, was a foreign correspondent with a big network covering the war in Iraq. After a terrifying incident overseas, Dora trades in her travel gear and becomes a local “on the street” type reporter interviewing strangers for fluff stories. She also loses her wonderful boyfriend, Nick, during the Iraqi debacle thinking he betrayed her…on Valentine’s Day, no less.
One year later she is transported to 1929 Chicago by the FBI to contact Nick. He is apparently in the same time trying to alter the events of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. This cannot happen, according to the FBI, because it would result in some cataclysmic event and eventually end the world as we know it. Yeah, I know. I wasn’t too crazy about the idea either. But it turned good. Really.
Sounds easy going back in time to find your ex? Thing is, they are in different bodies. When Dora is sent back, she takes over the body of Louise Rolfe (real person. I Googled her!), the girlfriend of Jack “Machine Gun” McGurn, the mobster responsible for the Massacre. While I wasn’t very comfortable with the hero and heroine being in different bodies, I did like the idea that Jack and Louise were real people and that the history of the story isn’t compromised.
Things get a bit wacky from here. Dora discovers who Nick is in this time period and even though she is still upset over what happened in Iraq, she realizes she needs him to save the world. There is also a rat…the furry kind…actually an FBI agent sent back to help Dora and do a little recon in his current condition. He is very much a highlight of this book. I might not have enjoyed it as much if it weren’t for his sarcasm.
As for the problems. Dora hovers on the edge of being annoying for the first quarter. She even talks a bit like a thirteen year-old boy combined with an 80s Valley girl. We hear her say “Dude”, “Chill Pill”, and “Totally” quite a few times before she evolves into a likable character.
Even with these issues What, No Roses? was an enjoyable, fast-paced and witty read. Some of the jokes didn’t quite come through, but the situations made up for that. Everything is neatly tied up at the end with a twist that I didn’t see coming until it was nearly upon me. Those looking for a fun way to while away an afternoon could do far worse.