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The 13th Hour: A Thriller Mass Market Paperback – July 27, 2010
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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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*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
Top customer reviews
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.
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 - The Thieves of Heaven,The Thieves of Faith, and The Thieves of Darkness.
As an aside, I believe I have read this book before. When it first came out? As an ARC? But I seem to remember (fairly vividly) an alternate ending. Does anyone else remember this? Would the hard copy have differed from the Kindle version? I am sure the last time I read it was in hard copy form.
to keep up with the time while writing. I really liked the book and feel there are more to come from this author
on the same subject and I will be happy to see them.
In "The 13th Hour", Richard Doetsch begins at the end, immediately revealing the story's outcome if all else remains the same, and his main character does nothing and simply accepts his fate. He has seemingly lost everything-his wife, his home, his reputation, his all-too-perfect life. And then he is asked to suspend belief, which he remarkably does, and over the next 12 hours the course of his life and all those he comes in contact with is changed, over and over and over again.
Some may say this book is nothing more than a re-hash of the Bill Murray movie "Groundhog Day", but with a murder or two thrown in (no groundhogs were murdered in "The 13th Hour"). The book is far more than that. It is a very good examination of how we as a society too often simply accept what is delivered to us, and how we don't always acknowledge our personal role in how we shape our lives. We see the central character move from taking a bull in a china shop approach to a more nuanced realization that simply being in the right place at the right time and acting for the right reasons can change the course of history.
My only reservations come in the form of some continuity and editing problems, and that later in the book I kept thinking that the characters can't possibly have done all that they did in the allotted hour.
However, I found the story riveting, fast paced, and intriguing to the end.
Most recent customer reviews
1) Amateur Writing: Not up to snuff.Read more