Three hours, by Rosalind Lupton, is that rare book: a truly intelligent thriller with heart. It’s set during the lockdown of a UK school as a gunman stalks its corridors, and is fast-paced and edge-of-your-seat – there were times my heart was genuinely beating faster, I was so involved with the story.
But it’s also thought-provoking and heartbreaking as it lays out the story from multiple points of view. Despite a lot of characters, it doesn’t become muddled, and each one has a distinct perspective and ‘voice’, which again illustrates the skill of the author. The fact that I felt so invested in each of them, too, just underlines that skill – there were times I was in tears, hoping and praying that things would work out.
As well as lots of heart, there is a great depth to the story. It examines how people become radicalised, how those who have can be hiding in plain sight among us, but for all of that the book never becomes ‘preachy’ and never loses pace. Brilliant stuff!
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.