Today its my turn on the blog tour with Viking Books to celebrate the paperback release of Three Hours on 29th October. I’m a big fan of Rosamund Lupton and so I jumped at the chance of being involved in this tour. Thank you so much to Ellie Hudson of Viking Books for kindly sending me a gifted copy of the book.
The blurb …
In rural Somerset in the middle of a blizzard, the unthinkable happens; a school is under siege. Pupils and teachers barricade themselves into classrooms, the library, the theatre. The headmaster lies wounded in the library, unable to help his trapped students and staff. Outside, a police psychiatrist must identify the gunmen, while parents gather desperate for news. In three intense hours, all must find the courage to stand up to evil and save the people they love.
My review …
What can I say about this book except … OH MY GOD!!!! It is amazing.
I’ve never read a book where my heart has been pounding and I’ve held my breath from start to finish.
The action begins straightaway as Old School in Somerset is under siege by two masked gunmen. The headmaster has been wounded and children are hiding in the theatre, library, a classroom and in a pottery art class in the woods of the vast school grounds. We are told the story from the perspectives of various different children, teachers, parents etc alternately as the siege continues. And it is terrifying. Who are these gunmen and what are their motives?
The pace of this thriller is astonishing as the story unfolds over three hours. It is obviously well researched and draws inspiration from real life cases and current affairs. The psychological insight from the police investigation is fascinating and I was completely gripped.
The writing is startlingly precise and professional but at the same time beautiful, perceptive and heartwrenching. The characters, especially the teachers, are all so brave and inspirational. From the stoic drama teacher Daphne trying to keep everyone’s spirits up by practising their play in the theatre to the gorgeous and courageous student Rafi, who having already risked his life escaping from hell in Aleppo, will do anything to save his little brother again (Rafi is now one of my favourite fictional characters of all time!).
Alongside all the action there is a wonderful theme of literature where the characters draw upon their favourite books for comfort and inspiration to stay strong and be brave and even for protection. The children practice their Shakespeare play in the theatre so that you have the ominous story of Macbeth playing out in the theatre, which is mirrored by the terrifying siege taking place in the school corridors, which I thought was extremely powerful.
This is absolutely one of the best books I’ve ever read, I loved it and felt every minute of those three hours. The fear of the children, the responsibility upon the police and the anguish of the parents was incredibly moving as was the theme that love is the most powerful thing there is. I think everyone should read this book and not just for entertainment value, but also because there are some very poignant and important themes within these pages.
About the author …
Rosamund Lupton is the author of Sister, a BBC Radio 4 ‘Book at Bedtime’, a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller and winner of the Richard and Judy Book Club Best Debut. Her next two books Afterwards and The Quality of Silence, also Richard and Judy Book Club choices, were Sunday Times bestsellers. Her books have been translated into over thirty languages.
Out in paperback on 29th October 2020
Thanks for reading!