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The 13th Hour: A Thriller Hardcover – December 29, 2009


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Mañana
Mañana
Best-selling author Carl Hiaasen describes Mañana: "A … thriller that moves through Mexico like a scalded sidewinder As always, Hjortsberg delivers wild surprises, cool chatter and raw, unforgettable scenes."

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of Doetsch's tricky thriller, an innocent man, Nicholas Quinn, is in police custody, suspected of murdering his wife, Julia, at their house in upscale Byram Hills, N.Y. Then a stranger gives Nick a watchlike device that allows him to change the past by sending him back, one hour at a time, for half a day. When Nick goes back in time, he discovers single events are the result of a complex web of causes. Saving his wife means untangling a plot that includes a robbery committed by corrupt cops, a horrendous plane crash and a mysterious family secret. Julia's fate seems to be inevitable, one way or another, and Nick's tampering brings death to friends and allies along the way. At times Doetsch (The Thieves of Faith) oversells Nick's anguish with breathless prose, and no character emerges as more than a cardboard cutout, but readers will enjoy the clever razzle-dazzle of a story whose parts fit together like clockwork. (Jan.)
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Staring at the glass of the interrogation room, Nick Quinn realizes he has been accused of murdering his wife a couple of hours earlier. She was the love of his life, and he cannot convince the police officers of his innocence. During a break in the questioning, a man appears and offers Quinn a watch. This amazing device will enable Quinn to travel backward one hour at a time to save his wife’s life and bring the true killer to justice. As he uses the timepiece and works toward his ultimate goal, Quinn learns to his horror that changing the past has terrifying ramifications and that he could make things even worse than they were before the day began. Starting with chapter 12 and working backward, Doetsch spins a compelling tale of loss, grief, and injustice with an element of fantasy. As the events unfold in Quinn’s quest, the shocks and twists are uniquely affecting, as the reader technically knows what’s going to happen. If there ever was a novel that deserves to be read in one sitting, this is it. With a totally original and compelling story line, The 13th Hour is one of the best thrillers of the year. --Jeff Ayers
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (December 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439147914
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439147917
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,714,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

For those who care... my interest range from scuba diving, bungee jumping and helo skiing to hockey, lacrosse and golf. No one is more fun to watch on their home turf than the NY Giants, the NY Yankees or the Detroit Red Wings even when they don't win championships. I love the sound of everything whether it is Slash's Les Paul through a Marshal amp, John Williams conducting the London Philharmonic or the sound of my daughter's breath as she sleeps. My day is never complete unless I learn something new, speak to my children, hug and kiss my wife, leave my office with a clean desk, wipe a frown from someone's face and write 1500 words.

I write from 11pm to 2am every night. Everyone wants to know why I don't quit my day job. I run a highly active real estate company that is filled with pressure, nightmares and travel. The simple fact is I love what I do. I love the people, the solving of crisis and the satisfaction of accomplishment. Writing is a world I run to at night, a place that I can escape into, where I can visit the people I have created and where I can dream up impossible situations for them to try and get out of. The bottom line is I need the interaction with others during the day and the solitude with my imagination at night.





Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By SciFiChick VINE VOICE on January 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
When Nick Quinn is held for questioning at the police station, it seems the police are convinced that Nick killed his own wife. Someone has framed Nick for her murder. But then, a stranger arrives with a bizarre opportunity for Nick. The stranger gives Nick 12 hours to save his wife and prevent her death. Each hour he will travel back in time to the previous hour in hopes of unraveling the plot around her death. But everything he does in the past, will affect the future, for better or worse.

The plot seems a bit confusing at first. I thought it might be hard to read. Instead, we live hour-by-hour with Nick and experience his race to uncover clues to his wife's murderer. Nick makes occasional mistakes that have serious repercussions. But each hour, he is able to learn from the previous one and try to stop events from happening in the past.

Not only is the plot and design unique, but the story is incredibly fast-paced and impossible to put down. The suspense is intense, caught up in drama and fantastic characters. There are twists and turns in each hour that unfolds, leading to a surprising climax. This is a must for mystery and science fiction fans alike. But simply put, I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Brian Reaves VINE VOICE on January 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For an original concept, you aren't going to come much better than a novel told backwards. While I didn't really see how a man going back an hour at a time to stop his wife's murder would work, it really does. Each hour bring some new discovery that has bearing on the next hour and seemingly minor things can become major over time. There's just one problem: our hero, Nick Quinn, doesn't seem to learn very well.

By the time most of the pieces are in place and you at least have a good idea of who the bad guys really are, Nick just keeps doing stupid things that lead to his capture. He allows himself to be approached by the villains time and again, and they just keep catching him and he narrowly escapes. Whereas a normal man would eventually say, "Ok, I'll stop this by just finding the bad guy and shooting him" since you know in an hour it's all going to change back anyway, our hero Nick just keeps confronting the bad guys and getting captured again and again, while watching his wife die four different times in the book. Rather than use the information to make smart choices, he just seems to get dumber as the pages go on. At first I thought it would be explained as some mental problems from the time traveling, but nope, it's just because the guy has no idea what he's doing.

If you can work beyond the aggravation of continually saying, "Why on earth did he just do that? He knows the guy is bad and wants to kill him! He knows what's going to happen!", you'll find the book an original story that really succeeds on some levels but fails just as bad on others. I'm not sorry I read it, but it's not one of those stories I'll keep on the shelf for another go round in the future.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Stout TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 31, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I probably would have ranked this book higher if I had read it first, rather than last, out of Doetsch's four published books to date. Unfortunately, as I read it, I couldn't help comparing it to the three books in the Thieves series.

PROS:
1. Great concept for a rip roaring time travel story. I thoroughly enjoyed (after about one chapter of acclimating myself to the format) reading the story backwards.
2. I liked the character concepts and the love story entwined throughout the book.
3. I, for the most part, liked the ending of the book.
4. The story was fast paced and definitely kept my interest all the way to the end.

CONS:
1. The character development was shallow. I found myself comparing this book repeatedly to the three books in the Thieves series, which all had stellar character development, and was disappointed that "The 13th Hour" didn't follow suit.
2. There were many editing issues - both grammatical and technical - that deflected my attention away from the story. Very unnecessary.
3. There was a feeling of repetitiveness and dragging a few times in the story. I think Doetsch handled the necessary retelling of the story well but not perfectly.
4. I thought there were times that the protaganist (Nick) could have learned much quicker from past mistakes and used his prior knowledge of coming events to much better advantage.

All in all, though, I would read this story again. It was an old concept handled in a "novel" fashion and made for a quick, entertaining read.

Try the Thieves series, if you already haven't, for some very well written thrillers -
...Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J.R. on June 2, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
[small semi-spoiler ahead]

I normally review books or films by starting with 5 stars and subtracting for things that bugged me. While this premiss is refreshingly original (a time travel storyline that starts at Chapter 12 and ends with chapter 1) My two major issues were thus: A) I had enough of the author explaining over and over again how in love with each other they were (I get it already! I almost had diabetes by chapter three) and B) I'm pretty sure I would have figured out how to save my wife in about 3-4 jumps (it took this guy all 12).

However, I was pleased that the ending didn't disappoint. Our hero really does seem to make some bonehead moves, but ultimately redeems himself. Watch for this book to be optioned sometime very soon.
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