Ever start reading a book that you initially thought you wouldn’t like and then get totally wrapped up in? That’s what happened to me when I was reading Richard Doetsch’s The 13th Hour. Initially, I was put off by the fact that the first chapter in the book was chapter twelve rather than chapter one — it seemed like a somewhat hokey idea; however, by the time I finished the first chapter, I was hooked.

In chapter twelve, the reader is introduced to Nick Quinn, an innocent man who is accused of murdering his wife, Julia. While in police custody, a mysterious older gentleman offers him a chance to save his wife by changing the past. Predictably, but without fully understanding the consequences, he accepts the offer, along with a sealed envelope and a rather unique pocket watch.

Nick finds himself traveling into the past in intervals (two hours back for each hour that elapses) with only 13 hours to save Julia. Nick quickly realizes how seemingly independent happenings can be intertwined and that he is essentially on his own as a reluctant time traveler.

The 13th Hour works as a mystery and as science-fiction novel, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys either genre; in fact, it was best time travel tale that I’ve read in years. It was such a good read that I fully intend to track down Doetsch’s other two novels, The Thieves of Heaven and The Thieves of Faith.

Note: The 13th Hour is not released until December 28, 2009. I received a review copy from the publisher.


The publisher informed us about a contest in conjunction with the release of The 13th Hour. The contest, which runs from December 28, 2009 – March 1, 2010, requires you to identify names in the book that are influenced from some of film and literature’s greatest visits to time travel. You could win a signed copy of the book, along with a pocket watch. Read the complete contest details.