The story revolves around an event that took place 10 years previously and has forever shook the town it took place in. The premise of the book intrigued me as soon as I read the synopsis and I absolutely needed to know the answer posed in it; what exactly happened in the twenty-seven minutes between the accident that took place and the cops actually being called that resulted in a young girl dying.
There are a slew of people affected by the accident, both directly and indirectly, and a number of them tell this story from their different perspectives, showing both how it impacted their lives and how they were involved in the events of the night. This was both intriguing and overwhelming at times. When I first started reading the book it felt like there were far too many POVs going on, though once I got into the book more it did become easier and made sense as to why there were so many characters telling their sides of the story. They all had something to hide and had their lives turned upside down by the night of the accident and how this was the case was pieced together bit by bit through their perspectives, each of them unreliable in their secrets and their self involvement.
The victim of the accident, Phoebe, is mourned by the town even 10 years later and they prepare for a memorial for her as everyone’s lives start to unravel throughout the events of the book. There’s Grant, Phoebe’s brother, and the one driving the night of the accident, and the individual who waited a full twenty-seven minutes for unknown reasons before calling the police. There’s Becca, also in the accident though she remembers very little of the events and therefore has no answers about what happened. There’s June whose brother disappeared the same night though the rest of the town failed to notice as they were too caught up in Phoebe’s death. And finally there is Wyatt, June’s brother himself who mysteriously up and left with seemingly no reason and has finally come back 10 years later with answers he’s determined to share with his sister.
As previously stated, this book is sloooooow burn. It took a while for it to get anywhere close to where it was leading which I did struggle with initially. Now, it is very good at building the tension and leaving the reader begging for answers, it just takes a while to actually get around to revealing those answers. There is a lot of time spent hinting at something deeper that was going on prior to and leading up to the accident, and leaving breadcrumbs that don’t really give any solid information. Much of the book is spent delving into the characters and showing how much their lives have gone downhill since that night, with the odd flashback to the day of, revealing everything up to and including the accident itself from other random characters points of view.
Honestly not one of the characters was very likeable, though it worked with the story all things considered and if nothing else it definitely made them interesting. And honestly, likeable or not I did get hooked on the story and wanting to know what happened once I really got going with it and I had a hard time putting it down because I needed to know. I would keep telling myself “just one more chapter and then I’ll do something else”, but lo and behold I would keep going with another chapter because I felt like I was finally about to start getting some answers (mostly this was not the case as it just kept being hinted at or would switch to a different point of view). I, like the sucker I am, couldn’t stop until I got those answers.
So although it takes a bit to get into the flow of things and finally start getting some answers, I still got deeply invested in the story and very much need to know what had happened all those years ago. The conclusion was satisfying enough to make the wait worthwhile and I was glad I stuck with it. Twenty-Seven Minutes was a tense mystery perfect for lovers of this genre!