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Monday, 2 July 2012

Eleven Hours by Paullina Simons

It feels like quite some time since I last posted, although it has only been a few days. I think the problem is that I expected to be done with this book a lot quicker than I have been. It looks like the kind of pacy thriller that usually sucks me right in and has me turning the pages right the way to the end without putting the book down once. I could blame the delay on the fact that I was on night shifts all last week, or that we had friends to stay over the weekend, but the truth is this one just wasn't for me.

Eleven Hours follows the traumatic events that are imposed upon Didi, a happily married mother who is 9 months pregnant and lives a usually happy and uneventful suburban life. One day, a run-of-the-mill trip to the shops to buy a few last-minute bits and bobs for the birth takes a sickening turn when she is kidnapped by a stranger. The chapters alternate between Didi's perspective and that of her husband Rich, who, together with the FBI, tries to track her down before it's too late.

This is certainly a fast-paced and dramatic novel but sadly something about it just didn't work for me. The story just jumps right in almost immediately with Didi's kidnapping, and I felt that not enough time was spent developing her character and building up a bit of a back story. It was almost as if the mere fact that Didi is so very pregnant is supposed to be enough to make the reader really care about what happens to her, and (for this reader at least) it wasn't. The second plot strand involving Rich and the FBI was more enjoyable and I could relate to him as a character a little bit more. Nevertheless, the extent of his involvement with the FBI and the investigation is unbelievable! The whole book builds towards a frightening climax which, I have to say, I found a bit too graphic and explicit for my tastes.

I must say that I read this as part of a book club and most of the other members seemed to really enjoy this. Wouldn't a book club be boring if we all agreed! I also note that several of the reviewers on GoodReads.com say that this is completely different from Paullina Simons' other work and a number of readers who didn't like Eleven Hours have really loved her other books. So I may just have another go if I stumble across something else by this author. 

Next on my list to tackle is City Of Thieves by David Benioff. I've been looking forward to reading this one for some time and hope it will be what I need to get my reading mojo back!


  1. I have Paullina Simons' Tatiana & Alexander being a complete sucker for Russian novels, or even novels set in Russia, but I've not read it. So, that's all I know about Simons' writing: not much! Sad to hear you didn't like this one by her.

    However, be encouraged! I was absolutely crazy about City of Thieves. It is hard to believe that book is fiction, in fact, I thought it was based on truth. Well, I suppose in a way it is. Anyway, I definitely think it will get your reading mojo back.

    Thanks for visiting me today!

  2. Tatiana & Alexander seems to have a great following on goodreads.com. All the negative reviews I've read of Eleven Hours have been from people who were hoping for another T&A and were left disappointed!

    I'm absolutely loving City of Thieves so far! I share your fascination for all things Russian and was lucky enough to visit St Petersburg recently, so the story and scenes are jumping to life for me.
    Thank you for visiting the blog today!


  3. I read this a long time ago so I don't remember the details, but I did enjoy the book and read it as a fast-paced thriller! Well, can't like them all.

  4. I remember reading this book a few years ago and loved it ! I have a copy of The Bronze Horseman on my tbr...