Review: 11:59

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Logo11:59
by David Williams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

11:59 / B003CV7TIK

Marc Niven is a radio host, working the switchboard at nights, providing clever banter and well-practiced camaraderie to the airways and his nightly callers, and flirting with the women who work the switchboards with him. One night, just before midnight on Valentine's Day, a strange caller rings in to wish happy Valentines to his beloved wife...soon to be his widow. A distracted and harried Marc fails to notice the dark implications of that call, and - much later in the evening - he witness what appears to be a kidnapping, but is too tired, and a bit too sloshed to do much more than watch and remember.

What sets this excerpt apart is the superb characterization, tight writing, and truly delightful sense of setting. Marc is not the easiest person for the reader to like - his dogged flirting with his staff and hints of a somewhat self-absorbed personality would normally put me off, but this characterization is done so vividly and with such a careful touch, that the reader cannot help but warm to Marc. The pacing is fantastic, with detailed characterization, careful foreshadowing, and intense action occurring in the space of only a few pages, and yet at such an even pace that the reader can keep up easily without feeling either bored or rushed.

NOTE: This review is based on a sample excerpt of this book provided through the ABNA contest.

~ Ana Mardoll

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