It takes one moment to call for help. So why did he wait?
For the last ten years, the small town of West Wilmer has been struggling to answer one question: On the night of the car accident that killed his sister, why did it take Grant Dean twenty-seven minutes to call for help? If he’d called sooner, Phoebe might still be alive.
As the anniversary of Phoebe’s death approaches, Grant is consumed by his memories and the secret that’s been suffocating him for years. But he and Phoebe weren’t the only ones in the car that night. Becca was there too – she’s the only other person who knows what really happened. Or is she?
Everyone remembers Phoebe, but local girl June also lost someone that night. Her brother Wyatt has been missing for ten years and, now that her mother is dead, June has no one left – no family, no friends. Until someone appears at her door. Someone who knows what really happened that night. And they are ready to tell the truth.
Twenty-Seven Minutes takes readers on a gripping journey through the complexities of human relationships. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel for its emotional depth and intricate storytelling, but the many unlikeable characters and a slower pace may deter some readers.
The narrative revolves around a web of characters, each dealing with their own set of personal struggles. We hear from three main characters – Grant, who is Phoebe’s brother (Phoebe died in a car accident whilst Grant was driving, after a party many years ago); Becca, who was also in the car, and has battled with guilt for a long time because she believes she caused the accident; and June, whose brother Wyatt disappeared the same night. But why did Grant apparently wait 27 minutes to call the ambulance after the accident? What is going on with June’s brother? I liked the switch between perspectives, giving us a deeper insight into what happened.
I also enjoyed its portrayal of characters who are far from perfect. Ashley Tate delves into the flaws and imperfections of each individual, making them feel authentic and relatable. Her writing style is engaging and evocative, drawing readers into the intricate lives of the characters and encouraging them to reflect on the difficulties of human connections and people’s choices during difficult times.
The pacing of Twenty-Seven Minutes might surprise some readers who assume this is a fast-paced thriller – it’s more of a slow burner… the reader slowly uncovers more about each character and how they had an impact on what happened that fateful night. I loved the sense of mystery and the way the novel surprised me but never felt over the top.
If you enjoy stories that explore the depth of human emotions and enjoy a slow-burning, mysterious narrative, I’d say that Twenty-Seven Minutes is ideal for you. I really enjoyed it and loved the surprise towards the end I didn’t see coming. I’ll say no more!
My rating: 4.5/5
Many thanks to the publisher, Headline, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.