Narinder Dhami’s 13 Hours would make a great film. The way she stuffs all the action of her book into a limited period of time, from one evening until the next morning, had me reading until I got to the end. There wasn’t even a conscious decision to read all of the book right then; I just did.
Anni has recently started secondary school and she has to run all the way there and back, in order not to be away from her housebound mum for too long. They live alone and Anni does all the housework as well as comforting her – agoraphobic – mum whenever she needs it, which is nearly all the time. The reader comes to vaguely dislike the woman for putting her daughter in this situation.
Until one Friday evening when the mum’s panic actually seems to have some foundation in reality, and there really are intruders in the house. What can the two of them do against these unknowns?
While there is no violence or very much threat, the situation is still extremely tense, and Anni desperately tries to think of ways to escape. So does her mum.
But meanwhile we find out more about the intruders, and…
Really very exciting and it also makes you think, about all kinds of things. So as well as reading a thriller, we learn about agoraphobia and young carers, and there is advice on how to get help (not if you have intruders in your house, however) when you need it.
And sometimes not even the good characters tell the truth or are above reproach. It’s Ace.