A Time Capsule Leads to Murder in Killing Time by Linda Howard

Jun 21, 2005 (Updated Sep 7, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Interesting story with likable main characters.

Cons:Few things not explained enough.

The Bottom Line: Killing Time was a very entertaining book that fans of Linda Howard should enjoy.


I have been reading Linda Howard's books for several years now. I really enjoy her books and get her new ones as soon as I can when they are released. Her newest book, Killing Time, was a little different from most of her books but still very good.

On New Year’s Day 1985, a time capsule was buried near the courthouse in Pekesville Kentucky. Teenager Knox Davis and his father Kelvin were there to see the capsule buried. Twenty years later, the capsule was dug up late one night. Knox was the chief investigator for Peke County. He had no clues to go on to try to figure out who took the capsule. Soon after that, one of the men that had been involved with burying the capsule was murdered in his home. There was no sign of forced entry or any struggle. Knox was investigating the murder as well. Nikita Stover arrived in town claiming she had a reason to look into the murder. Knox thought she was hiding something.

Linda Howard writes romantic suspense books. She has always included some kind of mystery in her books and there is usually at least one murder. In Killing Time, a time capsule was dug up eighty years before it was supposed to be. People connected to the capsule were found dead in strange situations. Why someone would dig up the capsule provided most of the mystery for the book. There was also some mystery surrounding Nikita which made her more interesting. The mystery part could have been a bit stronger, but it was still very entertaining. There were some things that happened that added suspense to the book. I didn’t think this was her most suspenseful book, though it did keep me guessing. Some things that happened were predictable, but that didn’t make the book less enjoyable for me.

Knox and Nikita ended up spending a lot of time together to try to figure out who took the capsule. Knox didn’t believe Nikita’s explanation for why she was there, but he held off doing anything about his suspicions for a short while. She did end up telling him more about herself which did answer many of his questions. They were attracted to each other right after they met, but they were both hesitant to start anything more serious. They did end up making the relationship intimate. Their sexual relationship started soon after they met, which could offend some readers. There were two sex scenes described and it was made clear that Knox and Nikita shared other sexual encounters. The scenes that were described could be considered explicit by some readers. I didn’t think the scenes were graphic. Howard does tend to write steamy sex scenes. People that have been offended by those scenes in some of her other books should probably avoid this book.

I did think that Killing Time was a bit different from most of the other books that Linda Howard has written. In addition to having some mystery and romance, there were also elements of science fiction to the story. Howard did that once before in the book Son of the Morning. I really can’t explain what the science fiction element is without giving away too much of what happened. There wasn’t a lot of explanation for the science fiction things in the book which might bother some readers. It didn’t bother me. The main focus was on the mystery. The science fiction elements didn’t receive as much attention. People wanting to read a strong science fiction story would probably be disappointed with this one. I would have enjoyed it if there had been some more discussion about a few minor things. I did think that the science fiction related things that Howard explained were interesting.

Knox and Nikita were the main characters in Killing Time. Knox was in more of the book than Nikita was. He became fascinated with police work and solving puzzles when he was a teenager. As an adult, he was a dedicated investigator. The theft of the time capsule didn’t make much sense, but he wanted answers. Nikita arrived to do her own investigation. She had secrets that she did eventually share with Knox. Nikita was a mysterious character when she first showed up. I thought that Knox and Nikita were interesting, likable characters. Kelvin and his wife Lynette were in a few scenes but they weren’t around enough to be developed. Other people that lived in town or worked with Knox were also shown briefly. Some of them were very flat characters, but that didn’t bother me since they were barely in the book.

I really enjoyed Killing Time. It was a little different from other Howard books, but it was still very entertaining and enjoyable. There was science fiction mixed in with the mystery and romance, helping to make the story more interesting. Fans of Linda Howard should enjoy the book.

Linda Howard Book Reviews
Open Season ~ Mr. Perfect ~ Dying to Please ~ Now You See Her ~ All The Queen's Men ~ Cry No More ~ Kiss Me While I Sleep ~ To Die For ~


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