16 February 2022

Three Hours


By Rosamund Lupton

My Review

In rural Somerset, England, masked gunmen hold a school hostage. Terrified pupils and their teachers barricade themselves into the rooms as the clock begins counting down. Who are the terrorists and what is their motivation? With the headmaster wounded and a snowstorm raging outside, the emergency services can do little to help. The teachers and pupils must rely upon each other to get them through the next three hours. . .

This book was an emotional rollercoaster. With recent school shootings, particularly in America, still fresh in peoples' minds, you really feel for the plight of the hostages. Their lives are hanging by a thread. One false move could have dire consequences for everyone. It's a story about the horrors of war, radicalisation, bravery, love and redemption. It's hard-hitting and pulls no punches. 

It took me a little while to get into the writing style — in particular the conversations between a mother, Beth, and her son Jamie, which take place inside her head; the things she wishes she'd told him; the love she feels for him. 

Despite the story taking place within the titular three hours, I found it slow-paced. Although thought-provoking, tension-filled and extremely well-written, it was a departure from my normal reads. For this reason I had difficulty connecting with the characters and their predicament. A good read but perhaps not quite my 'thing'.               

Book Source: Purchased copy
My Rating ⭐⭐⭐

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Penguin (29th Oct 2020)
ISBN-13: 978-0241374511

The Blurb

In a rural English village in the middle of a snowstorm, the unthinkable happens: the school is under siege.

From the wounded headmaster barricaded in the library, to teenage Hannah in love for the first time, to the pregnant police psychologist who must identify the gunmen, to the terrified 8-year-old Syrian refugee, to the kids sheltering in the school theatre still rehearsing Macbeth, all must find the courage to stand up to evil and try to save the people they love . . .

In an intense exploration of fear and violence, courage and redemption, Rosamund Lupton takes us deep into the heart of human experience.

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