Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Reviewed: 24 Hours by Claire Seeber







24 Hours was published by Bookouture on October 9, 2015.


Thanks to Kim at Bookouture for sending me a copy of this book to review.



I was desperate to get my hands on 24 Hours after seeing the cover reveal and reading the synopsis. I seriously love the synopsis – it had my heart racing even before starting the book! The story inside the pages did not let me down and kept me guessing right until the very end – lapping up every detail and red herring to try and work out what was going on. 24 Hours was so difficult to put down as Claire drags you right into the story until you’ve no escape – you’ve got to keep on reading.

The story is narrated by Laurie – a mother, frightened about her daughter Poppy’s safety. Laurie’s best friend, Emily, has just been killed and she’s convinced that whoever killed her killed the wrong person. They wanted Laurie instead. The desperation and anxiety Laurie felt is so obvious and delivered exceptionally. I felt it for her, felt the stress and the panic she was feeling. It had me reading at a relentless pace trying to see where the story was going to take us. Being set over, of course, 24 hours, meant this book needed to keep up a fast pace to keep the reader interested, but still take time to develop each aspect so we could buy into the story. Claire had me hooked with her gripping style of writing and the way she told the narrative.

The chapters are set out as Then and Now. The chapters set in the present time run quickly and really build up Laurie’s fear and desperation. I didn’t know it was possible to fit so much chaos into one day but she manages it! Though I preferred the chapters set in the 24 hours, because I was eager – to say the least – to discover who was responsible for Emily’s death and how Laurie was involved, to discover Poppy’s whereabouts, the chapters told in the past were what immersed me into the story as we learnt about the various characters Laurie was linked to, all the possible people that could have been out to get her. As they lead up to the day itself, I was completely none the wiser as to who killed Emily. Either because it was clever or because I’m slow but I loved how I couldn’t guess it! I was still surprised right at the end and that’s the sign of a successful psychological thriller for me.

I found the pacing of this book to be brilliant. At the beginning, the sentences are short and snappy and I couldn’t get enough of them. They were made to be read quickly and I devoured them, ready for more. As things develop later on, and the plot gets more complex, the story became even more ridiculously addictive than I had been expecting. The style of chapters meant that by the time I got to the end of one, and knew I had other things to do, I had already convinced myself that one more chapter wouldn’t hurt. I found myself doing that until the 24 hours were nearly up, and I mean only an idiot would give up then. I could not stop reading.

The characters in this book are not ones I was naturally drawn to, which was of course to be expected. But Laurie was a character I was trying to push on, willing and rooting for her to get to safety, to find out who’d caused Emily’s death and where her daughter was. I didn’t fully trust her but I sympathised with her because through her panic and exasperation, nobody took her seriously. There’s a whole mixture of other characters that crop up in the story and there wasn’t one I didn’t suspect at some point. It was deeply unsettling how everybody seemed to have a motive that would cause damage to Laurie.

Though I liked this book all the way through, I felt like at times towards the middle, it fell a little bit flat. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what went missing but it felt close to losing its way at times. But that was only a minor negative point for a rare psychological thriller that didn’t disappoint. The story, with its 24 hour timeframe, was different to a lot of other books out there at the moment in the same genre. It made this book stand out a lot and I loved the plot and feeling like I was reading something new. Although with Claire’s fantastic publisher in Bookouture, I didn’t really expect anything less. 24 Hours was brilliantly tense, with the tension constantly leaving me on edge as it kept going right until the very end, more revelations still to come. And finally – a psychological thriller with a satisfying ending! I was beginning to think they no longer existed.


Highly addictive. Did not disappoint





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