Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
24 Hours ranks up amongst the best thrillers I've read in 2015 - and thats saying something because I've read a lot of them. Its been the year of the psychological thriller, some good, some terrible, some simply enjoyable then one or two that have been truly excellent because they offer something more for me as a reader than surface entertainment. 24 Hours is one of those.
On the one hand, this is a page turning, tension inducing race against time - We spend 24 hours with Laurie as she races across country, desperate to reach her daughter before her ex-husband - who she believes is trying to kill her. Suffering both mentally and physically from the aftermath of a fire that has just killed her best friend, many obstacles are thrown in her path, not least her own inability to focus. This makes for some great edge of the seat moments, some intriguing twist and turns and creates the kind of read that is highly addictive.
Then there is another layer - many of them in fact - as we see in flashback the relationship Laurie has with her ex, their lives together and here is where the story took on an added emotional core quite aside from the thriller aspects. With a subtle and deft touch, Claire Seeber explores the theme of destructive relationships, obsessive love and the diffiulties of removing yourself from a situation that is damaging. Sid is an entirely fascinating character, creative, haunted, intense, yet oddly sympathetic despite his actions - even given the fact that he is possibly an attempted murderer. Blurring the lines, showing that these things are not simply black and white - the emotive core of the story only makes the journey Laurie is on more absorbing and utterly riveting.
The fact that I really did not know how this was going to all pan out just made it even better - it was unpredictable, compelling and for me completely brilliant. I was almost tearful at the end, I felt like I'd been through the wringer. Some top notch construction, the author moves her characters around like pieces on a chessboard, making you question everything including Laurie herself -at the same time exploring the vagaries of human nature and all its fallibilities. Really really excellent.
With 24 hours you can have a fast paced thrill ride of a novel but you can also have a delicate character driven tale - the best of both worlds for this reader and as such the book comes highly recommended from me.