Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn

I don’t even know where to start with reviewing this book. I liked it but at the same time I didn’t like it. To qualify, I read it in one sitting because I was compelled to read it, but I didn’t like what I was reading. But perhaps I was supposed to not like what I was reading. This book is not for the faint of heart. It invites the reader into a brutal cut throat world and spits you back out reeling from all that you witness. I didn’t enjoy reading this book as the subject matter was hard hitting and the writing is ruthless in its description of events that transpire. But it was compelling and gripping because it is not something that I have ever read. Normally things like murder and kidnap are portrayed as a staggering tragedy but in this book it is just part of life and the protagonist just ignores them. It was frustrating for me because as much as I hated the deplorable acts that the gang did, in some ways I could still relate to them, I still wanted to know their stories.

So as you can see the main issue that I had with the book was the main character. For me she wasn’t a likeable narrator, her choices, her actions they were contradicting and strange to me. But then I suppose that no one is perfect. There is no such thing as a ‘normal’ reaction to being kidnapped so who am I to judge.I spent most of the book trying to decide if she really did have Stockholm syndrome or not because we are seeing directly into her head and from her narration she seemed acutely aware of what was happening. And that is why I like this book, even though I don’t like the main character I could still be drawn into her world. Even though the subject matter is harrowing and the protagonist is flawed it doesn’t make it a bad book. It just isn’t a book that people are used to reading. I thought that the kidnap victim was going to be an innocent victim and it would be about her struggle to escape. When in fact it is about a girl who has never been wanted finally finding a place where she is in fact wanted and gripping onto that with both hands and never letting go despite the awful things that she sees. We see in the book her mental struggle to put aside her conscience and try to maintain the illusion of her happy life.

There are a lot of things I didn’t like about this book but despite that I still couldn’t put it down. I had to admit though, by the end of this book I was completely confused there is a massive twist at the end that I thought it detracted from how good the book was. However, I’ve a feeling that it is all going to be revealed in the second book. Which I don’t want to read because I know it will be just as harrowing but I know I will.




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