Three hours is 180 minutes or 10,800 seconds.
It is a morning’s lessons, a dress rehearsal of Macbeth, a snowy trek through the woods.
It is an eternity waiting for news. Or a countdown to something terrible.
It is 180 minutes to discover who you will die for and what men will kill for.
In rural Somerset in the middle of a blizzard, the unthinkable happens: a school is under siege. From the wounded headmaster in the library, unable to help his trapped pupils and staff, to teenage Hannah in love for the first time, to the parents gathering desperate for news, to the 16 year old Syrian refugee trying to rescue his little brother, to the police psychologist who must identify the gunmen, to the students taking refuge in the school theatre, all experience the most intense hours of their lives, where evil and terror are met by courage, love and redemption.
Reader I wept. This book has some heart-wrenching moments. Thankfully school shootings are basically non-existent in the UK, although this set in Somerset. Getting hold of guns in the UK is very, very difficult, although some rural households have rifles for dealing with pests.
There were also moments of my heart in my throat, honestly the whole book is so gripping and so powerfully written. It really captures the sentiment of a rather unpleasant section of society and what lengths they might be willing to go to in order to advance their revolting agenda.
The ending is however heartwarming as you unravel the stories of the children hidden in the school and the bond that builds as they protect each other.
As long as you have a massive box of tissues to hand, this is an incredibly moving read.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.