Review | 24 Hours by Claire Seeber

Impressive structure and writing but my failure to connect with the main characters meant this “thriller” fell flat. 3/5 stars.

24 Hours by Claire Seeber cover

The blurb: “Here today. Dead tomorrow?
My best friend, Emily, is dead – killed last night in a hotel fire.
But it was meant to be me.
Now I have 24 hours to find my daughter.
Before he finds out I’m still alive.

24 Hours is a fast-paced, intelligent psychological thriller that will leave you breathless.”

My take:

I am giving 24 Hours three out of five stars for the quality of the writing and structure. Writing a book which switches between the past and present every chapter is no mean feat. Even more impressive is producing one which does all this time shifting without disorientating or confusing the reader.

The plot was fine and the author includes various twists and turns to keep the reader guessing as to who the real villain/s of the piece is/are.

Unfortunately, because I didn’t connect with any of the main characters, the story didn’t grip me as I had hoped and I didn’t particularly care about the outcome. Laurie, the main character, was fairly hopeless and makes a long string of bad decisions. I concede that in the present, race-against-time plot strand she is injured and exhausted and so bound to make some mistakes. But when it came to her many errors of judgement in the past I lost patience. At one point, even the character herself thinks something along the lines of, “You’d think that I, being a trained counsellor, would make better decisions”. And I thought, “YES!”.

The only character I didn’t find annoying or despicable was Saul and he was sadly in the book for about 5 minutes. I kept hoping he’d return to be integrated into the main narrative in some stunning plot twist, but he didn’t.

Overall: this was ok. The writing and structure were very good. Unfortunately, once I started to find the main character irritating it became less of a thrill ride and more of a hard slog to reach “The End”.

 Claire Huston / Art and Soul

 

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8 thoughts on “Review | 24 Hours by Claire Seeber

    • I know! That’s how I felt. It was such a great set-up, and the switching back and forth in time was good, but when I realized I didn’t care if the heroine got out of her problems (all of her own stupid making), I lost interest. If a reader can sympathize with the main character it would be a truly gripping read. It just didn’t happen for me 😦

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