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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Twenty-Seven Minutes


Narrator: Nikki Thomas

Dreamscape Media

ISBN: 9781728278148

Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press

Publication Date: 01/30/2024

Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)



"This story of a small town’s obsessive hold on a decade-old tragedy, as four people in its grip try to move on, is both poignant and pacy, an unforgettable portrait of grief and the darkest ties that bind. A must-read debut that marks Ashley Tate as a brilliant new voice in literary suspense.”

—Ashley Audrain, New York Times bestselling author of The Push


In this stunning and propulsive debut, a town grieves the loss of a young girl—but some fight to keep the truth about her death a secret. For fans of Jane Harper, Ashley Flowers, and Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.


The question


For the last ten years, the small, claustrophobic town of West Wilmer has been struggling to understand one thing: Why did it take young Grant Dean twenty-seven minutes to call for help on the fateful night of the car accident that took the life of his beloved sister, Phoebe? If he'd called sooner, she might still be alive.


The secret


As the anniversary of Phoebe's death approaches, Grant is consumed by memories of that night on the bridge and everything he lost: his future, his reputation, his little sister. And the secret he's been keeping all these years is suffocating him. But he and Phoebe weren't the only ones in the car that night. Becca was there. She knows what happened—and she will do anything to help Grant keep his secret.


The truth


Everyone in West Wilmer remembers Phoebe, but only June remembers that another person was lost that night. Her brother Wyatt has been missing for ten years and now June is alone—no family, no friends. Until someone appears at her door. Someone who may know where Wyatt went all those years ago. Someone who knows what really happened on the bridge that night. Someone who is ready to tell the truth.


Taking place over three days and culminating in a shocking twist that will leave you breathless, Twenty-Seven Minutes is a gripping story about what happens when grief becomes unbearable, dark secrets are unearthed, and the horrifying truth is revealed.





#Twenty-SevenMinutes






My Review


Ashley Tate's debut, TWENTY SEVEN MINUTES , is a captivating psychological/litereary suspense of a tragedy affecting several families and its aftermath. One night. One mistake that leads to fear, loss, regret, and grief in this small town of dark secrets.


The novel opens with a car accident, and the victim is Phoebe Dean. The one who died in a tragic accident as it rained on a bridge over the river, even if the truth is a little more nuanced. But the ambulance was called too late—twenty-seven minutes too late.


But the truth—it will come out. Nothing can keep the truth buried; it will always unfurl itself, lay itself bare. It is unstoppable—like the tide, a storm, or a ghost. IT WILL HUNT YOU DOWN.


Told in alternating timelines: Past and Present:

Ten Years Ago and Ten Years Later


From POVs:

June

Grant

Becca

Wyatt


Grant was the driver of the car the night Phoebe died. The community wonders why he waited twenty-seven minutes to dial 911. He had been a popular football player scouted by universities and could not wait to leave this small town. After the accident, he lost his sister and dreams of leaving due to an injury. He drowns his sorrows and guilt in booze and sex.


Becca is a troubled young woman who thinks Grant loves her and keeps his secrets. Phoebe and Grant were very close siblings, and they had dreams of leaving the small town together. Phoebe is unhappy with him for not keeping up grades and walking the right path.


June and Wyatt are siblings. June has never understood why Wyatt went missing ten years ago and never returned or contacted them. When her mother dies, June is all alone and always wonders about the rumors of Wyatt —if he was selling drugs.


The small claustrophobic town of West Wilmer has been struggling to understand one thing: Why did it take young Grant Dean 27 minutes to call for help on the fateful night of the car accident that took the life of his beloved sister, Phoebe? If he'd called sooner, she might still be alive.


As the 10th anniversary of her death approaches, Grant is consumed by the memories of that night on the bridge. He lost his sister and more. He is hiding a secret. Becca, his girlfriend, was in the back seat. She knows the truth. She is keeping his secret.


There was also another person who went missing that same night. June lost her brother, Wyatt, that night, who had been missing for ten years. Now June is alone with no family or friends. June and Wyatt both feel their family is invisible compared to the Deans.


Then someone appears at her door. Someone who knows the truth. Someone ready to TELL ALL.


TWENTY SEVEN MINUTES is a slow-burn mystery told over three days when that night's horrifying truth is finally revealed ten years earlier. The night that changed lives.


My first book by the author. While the novel was mysterious, and the author successfully depicted the small town, its dreams and fears —its families and dysfunction, and the urge to escape, it was rather slow. I felt the supernatural part did not add to the story.


TWENTY SEVEN MINUTES is a heart wrenching, cautionary tale and character study of how one event can change the trajectory of your life. No likable characters here with emotions of loss, grief, pain, sorrow, regrets, disappointment, tragedy, and dark secrets are a part of this gripping suspense.


I appreciated the author's note and conversation with the author. It would make for a great book club pick with discussion questions included.


Thanks to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for the opportunity to read a digital review copy for my honest feedback.


@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Jan 30, 2024

My Rating: 4 Stars







Praise


"Twenty-Seven Minutes is the rare gift that delivers it all: elevated prose, characters with depth, unpredictable twists, and a pitch-perfect mood that is wonderfully consuming. This story of a small town’s obsessive hold on a decade-old tragedy, as four people in its grip try to move on, is both poignant and pacy, an unforgettable portrait of grief and the darkest ties that bind. A must-read debut that marks Ashley Tate as a brilliant new voice in literary suspense."

― Ashley Audrain, New York Times bestselling author of The Push


"Ashley Tate has written a masterful collision course of pain, sorrow, and grief that sliced open my veins and tore out my heart."

― Samantha M. Bailey, USA Today bestselling author of Woman on the Edge and Watch Out for Her


"With her well-rounded characters, breakneck pacing, and emotional depth, Ashley Tate is a new thriller writer to watch."

― Robyn Harding, international bestselling author


"A great read! Twenty-Seven Minutes vividly brings to life the long-term impact of grief and loss alongside an intriguing mystery. Well-paced with a satisfying ending and unexpected twist, I found it unputdownable."

― Patricia Wolf, author of Outback


"I raced through this suspenseful debut. I loved the smart dialogue, the sense of foreboding, and the stunning setting. But, most of all, I was hooked by the characters, the twists, and the ‘Who on earth could have done this?’ puzzle. Definitely a writer to watch."

― Jane Corry, internationally bestselling author of Coming to Find You and My Husband’s Wife


"A twisting, beautiful, deeply affecting mystery from a commanding new talent. Twenty-Seven Minutes is by turns evocative and unpredictable, truly gripping and deeply satisfying. I loved it." ― Chris Whitaker, New York Times bestselling author of We Begin at the End


"In Twenty-Seven Minutes, Audrey Tate creates a tense and deeply affecting story of desperation, dysfunction, and tragedy that stays with the reader long after the final twist. Skilfully plotted and darkly atmospheric, I thoroughly enjoyed this gripping debut."

― Rosemary Hennigan, author of The Favorites


"Twenty-Seven Minutes by Ashley Tate is a ride and a half. Tate nails the small-town vibe and the messiness of human emotions, making this an all-consuming read. If you're up for a story about regret, memories, and the ripple effect of one decision, this book is for you."

― Caroline Mitchell, author of the DI Amy Winter series


"I tore through Twenty-Seven Minutes like a woman possessed. Equal parts haunting and propulsive, this fast-moving thriller grabs hold of you and doesn't let go until the final page. The entire reading experience feels like walking on thin ice―like you're waiting for something to crack, and when it does, it's entirely as satisfying as you'd hoped. I can't wait for more from Ashley Tate."

― Jenny Hollander, author of Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead













About the Author


Photo Credit: Camilla Pucholt Photography



ASHLEY TATE worked for over a decade as an editorial writer and editor for various publications as well as Canada's first online magazine. Twenty-Seven Minutes is her debut. She lives with her husband, two children and their dog, in Toronto, Canada.

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