Twenty-Seven Minutes, what I would classify as a slow-burn Literary Suspense novel, is a debut for author, Ashley Tate.
In this story, we settle into the small town of West Wilmer, where 10-years ago, their local It-Girl, Phoebe Dean was killed in a car accident on the way home from a party.
Her brother, Grant, was the driver that night and for unknown reasons, he waited 27-minutes after the crash before he called 9-1-1.
Yeah, it’s suspicious and rumors have swirled for years that the reason he waited so long was that he needed to sober up.
For a multitude of reasons, this tragedy hit the town especially hard. As the 10th-anniversary approaches, a memorial is planned for Phoebe and the town is abuzz again with theories and speculation about that night.
As you can imagine, this causes stress for those closest to the incident. It’s like they have to keep repeating the worst night of their life over and over again. Why won’t people just let them forget?
This story is told via multiple POVs and a dual timeline, as we follow those most effected by the events of that night.
Basically, if Phoebe’s death were a pebble dropped in a pond, we’d be following the ripples closest to impact. And honestly, that’s how I thought of this set-up. It worked.
As past and present begin to merge, the truth about that night is finally made clear for the Reader. It’s an emotional and angst-filled journey that doesn’t rush anything along.
I enjoyed this one. I found it to be well-written and the mystery behind that night, the pace at which all is revealed, I thought was really well done.
I think it is important to keep in mind though, this is a slow burn. If you are looking for a fast-paced Thriller, there may be better options. You have to be comfortable just sitting with characters and getting to know them through their thoughts and reflections.
For me, this was truly a story about surviving grief and trauma. Each journey through that space is going to look different. People deal with such events using the resources available to them, and some fare better than others.
I loved the small town atmosphere; she ran deep. I feel like anyone who grew up in a small town could relate with a lot of the vibes Tate created here.
I also enjoyed all the messy, damaged relationships and characters. I found them interesting and frankly, I don’t trust characters who are too perfect. I thought Tate did a great job of blending all of their stories together and pulling off a solid conclusion.
Overall, I think for Readers who really love to sink their teeth into fabulous character work, and they don’t need to like those characters, this will be a great read.
As far as this being a debut, I’m impressed. I think Tate brought everything she needed and more to this story. I am really looking forward to getting more from her!
Thank you so much to the publisher, Poisoned Pen Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review.
While this wasn’t exactly what I expected it to be, I am very pleased with what I got!