My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Here’s the pitch: Explosion
That’s The Last Minute, hollywood-y and hooky in its conceit and unbearably tense in its delivery. This is 24 gone macro gone YA: sixty seconds, a cast of a hundred plus, and a town about to face its darkest hour. See, I can’t even precis it with going all movie-voice.
It’s written by Eleanor Updale, classy author of the Montmorency books, and god it’s good. Written back to front as it were, with the resolution of the minute staring you right in the face, it’s impossible to read this book calmly. Even the chapter headings don’t help; each second goes by with a simple Tick, Tock, and it’s just edge of your seat territory. All the way. You start to connect the dots and then, just as you think you do, Updale throws a curveball in your way. I loved this.
Whilst the book itself was a healthy four-almost-five star rating for me (I struggled to keep track of what was happening to whom at points – an issue for me occasionally with novels of a massive cast), what pulls it to a glorious five stars is the accompanying material. Can I tell you how much I love this sort of thing? If you go to this website you can see the official enquiry into the incident and several other pieces of supporting material. This is brilliant – just don’t do it until after you finished the book because spoilers!