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Jan Turk Petrie
Running Behind Time
It’s the Summer of 1982, and Beth Sawyer is thrilled to have landed the title role in a play. It may only be in a fringe theatre in Shepherd’s Bush, but it’s the start she’s always dreamed of. It’s the Summer of 2020, amid the global pandemic, and Tom Brookes is furloughed. Unable to face lockdown in a tiny city flat, he moves back to his mother’s cottage in the sleepy Cotswold village of Stoatsfield-under-Ridge. Neither of them expects an everyday train journey to throw their normal lives so spectacularly off-course. This is the story of an extraordinary encounter between two people who should never have met.
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 8.00 out of 10


Plot: A clever time-travel narrative, the plot – and characters – shift between 2020 and 1982, while the book alternates between perspectives of two protagonists. The book’s central love story is woven into a sci-fi thriller in settings contrasted by the pandemic.

Prose/Style: The prose moves quickly and is well-crafted, with some strong descriptive writing supporting the exposition. The clarity of the writing helps the reader keep track of a given chapter’s place in time, a common challenge with books in this subgenre.

Originality: The plot utilizes many time-travel tropes but feels fresh rather than derivative. The characters are unique and well-constructed.

Character Development/Execution: The two protagonists are multi-dimensional and interesting. Both are attached to the time period from which they originate, and their individual worries and motivations feel natural and solidly developed. Their relationship is one readers can easily root for.

Date Submitted: April 02, 2021


"WOW! What a fabulous and enjoyable read - read it in one sitting as needed to know what happened next. A tale of time travel from 2020 to 1982 - and back again...can't recommended it highly enough." Jayne Burton LoverReading ambassador

Readers' Favorite

"An adventurous read. Running Behind Time, written by Jan Turk Petrie, is an entertaining, thrilling book – don’t miss it!" 5 stars reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite

"In these tough times, with a story that is topical for today, this is a winner... I know you’ll love this offering. I did and I can highly recommend it." 5 stars reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers’ Favorite