Twenty-Seven Minutes

A Novel

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Pub Date 30 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 30 Jan 2024

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Description

"This story of a small town’s obsessive hold on a decade-old tragedy, as four people in its grip try to move on, is both poignant and pacy, an unforgettable portrait of grief and the darkest ties that bind. A must-read debut that marks Ashley Tate as a brilliant new voice in literary suspense.”
—Ashley Audrain, New York Times bestselling author of The Push

In this stunning and propulsive debut, a town grieves the loss of a young girl—but some fight to keep the truth about her death a secret. For fans of Jane Harper, Ashley Flowers, and Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.

The question

For the last ten years, the small, claustrophobic town of West Wilmer has been struggling to understand one thing: Why did it take young Grant Dean twenty-seven minutes to call for help on the fateful night of the car accident that took the life of his beloved sister, Phoebe? If he'd called sooner, she might still be alive.

The secret

As the anniversary of Phoebe's death approaches, Grant is consumed by memories of that night on the bridge and everything he lost: his future, his reputation, his little sister. And the secret he's been keeping all these years is suffocating him. But he and Phoebe weren't the only ones in the car that night. Becca was there. She knows what happened—and she will do anything to help Grant keep his secret.

The truth

Everyone in West Wilmer remembers Phoebe, but only June remembers that another person was lost that night. Her brother Wyatt has been missing for ten years and now June is alone—no family, no friends. Until someone appears at her door. Someone who may know where Wyatt went all those years ago. Someone who knows what really happened on the bridge that night. Someone who is ready to tell the truth.

Taking place over three days and culminating in a shocking twist that will leave you breathless, Twenty-Seven Minutes is a gripping story about what happens when grief becomes unbearable, dark secrets are unearthed, and the horrifying truth is revealed.

"This story of a small town’s obsessive hold on a decade-old tragedy, as four people in its grip try to move on, is both poignant and pacy, an unforgettable portrait of grief and the darkest ties...


Advance Praise

“Twenty-Seven Minutes is the rare gift that delivers it all: elevated prose, characters with depth, unpredictable twists, and a pitch-perfect mood that is wonderfully consuming. This story of a small town’s obsessive hold on a decade-old tragedy, as four people in its grip try to move on, is both poignant and pacy, an unforgettable portrait of grief and the darkest ties that bind. A must-read debut that marks Ashley Tate as a brilliant new voice in literary suspense.”
—Ashley Audrain, New York Times bestselling author of The Push

“I was completely transfixed by Twenty-Seven Minutes, a taut, raw, powerful suspense that centers around a decade-old tragedy that’s traumatized a community. Every character carries both a darkness and moments of goodness inside them as they grapple with their own memories and secrets of the night that took one of their own. Ashley Tate has written a masterful collision course of pain, sorrow, and grief that sliced open my veins and tore out my heart.” 
—Samantha M. Bailey, USA Today bestselling author of Woman on the Edge and Watch Out for Her

“Twenty-Seven Minutes is a beautifully written story of family secrets, dangerous obsessions, and the unsolved mysteries that can haunt a small town for years. With her well-rounded characters, breakneck pacing, and emotional depth, Ashley Tate is a new thriller writer to watch.”
—Robyn Harding, international bestselling author

A twisting, beautiful, deeply affecting mystery from a commanding new talent. Twenty-Seven Minutes is by turns evocative and unpredictable, truly gripping and deeply satisfying. I loved it.”
Chris Whitaker, New York Times bestselling author of We Begin at the End

“Twenty-Seven Minutes by Ashley Tate is a ride and a half. Tate nails the small-town vibe and the messiness of human emotions, making this an all-consuming read. If you're up for a story about regret, memories, and the ripple effect of one decision, this book is for you.”
—Caroline Mitchell, author of the DI Amy Winter series

“In Twenty-Seven Minutes, Audrey Tate creates a tense and deeply affecting story of desperation, dysfunction, and tragedy that stays with the reader long after the final twist. Skillfully plotted and darkly atmospheric, I thoroughly enjoyed this gripping debut.”

—Rosemary Hennigan, author of The Favorites


“Twenty-Seven Minutes is the rare gift that delivers it all: elevated prose, characters with depth, unpredictable twists, and a pitch-perfect mood that is wonderfully consuming. This story of a small...


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781728278148
PRICE $16.99 (USD)
PAGES 384

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Average rating from 1313 members


Featured Reviews

This gripping, twisty mystery sucked me in from the very first page. The author doesn’t hold her punches, the lush prose delivered raw grief and loss that reached deep in my guts and left me bleeding. Beautiful storytelling.

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"Twenty-Seven Minutes" was a gripping page-turner! The author excelled at crafting a storyline filled with uncomfortable tension and suspense that will keep you guessing until the final page.

Tragedy struck the small town of West Wilmer a decade ago. Three teenagers were involved in a horrific accident and one lost her life. This book walks you through the events of that night. What really happened in the Twenty-Seven minutes it took our MMC Grant Dean to call for help? If only he could have reached the payphone more quickly, it could have potentially saved his sister's life.

Thank you #AshleyTate #NetGalley and #PoisonedPenPress for proving me with an #ARC of this book!

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I completely FREAKED out when I was approved for this stunner!

I have never put a book down to pick up a new one without finishing buttttt let’s just say I “paused” the previous book I had been reading when I got this approval.

I was introduced to Ashley Tate via Bookstagram and had been SO excited to read Twenty-Seven Minutes.

The plot is extremely unique, taking place in the three days leading up to the memorial for Phoebe who had tragically died 10 years prior in an accident that has left the townspeople with so many questions. We are also given glimpses with flash back chapters to what took place that night 10 years ago. The chapters are narrated from multiple points of view that allow you perspective.

I won’t lie to you! These characters had my feelings in overdrive. Some I loved and some … not so much.

This book is EVERYTHING and to think it is a debut is just wild!!!! If this is the first, I can’t even imagine the next!!!!

Ashley Tate is a natural born storyteller and she has made an instant fan out of me!

Teaser :

The question

For the last ten years, the small, claustrophobic town of West Wilmer has been struggling to understand one thing: Why did it take young Grant Dean twenty-seven minutes to call for help on the fateful night of the car accident that took the life of his beloved sister, Phoebe? If he'd called sooner, she might still be alive.

The secret

As the anniversary of Phoebe's death approaches, Grant is consumed by memories of that night on the bridge and everything he lost: his future, his reputation, his little sister. And the secret he's been keeping all these years is suffocating him. But he and Phoebe weren't the only ones in the car that night. Becca was there. She knows what happened―and she will do anything to help Grant keep his secret.

The truth

Everyone in West Wilmer remembers Phoebe, but only June remembers that another person was lost that night. Her brother Wyatt has been missing for ten years and now June is alone―no family, no friends. Until someone appears at her door. Someone who may know where Wyatt went all those years ago. Someone who knows what really happened on the bridge that night. Someone who is ready to tell the truth.

Taking place over three days and culminating in a shocking twist that will leave you breathless, Twenty-Seven Minutes is a gripping story about what happens when grief becomes unbearable, dark secrets are unearthed, and the horrifying truth is revealed.

Was this review helpful?

I was completely transfixed by Twenty-Seven-Minutes, a taut, raw, powerful suspense that centers around a decade-old tragedy that's traumatized a community. Every character carries both a darkness and moments of goodness inside them as each wrestle with their own memories and secrets of the night that took one of their own. An entire town obsessed with the death of their most promising high school senior. Phoebe's death rocked the town to its core. There have always been mysterious circumstances surrounding it - from the illegal teen party to the amount of time it seems that it took her brother to call the ambulance that may have saved her. At the ten-year mark, a celebration and remembrance is planned. Those who have kept secrets from the night become more and more agitated and those that are searching for answers may not like what they find. Such a great read, the plot and such a great twisted l ending, you'll be surprised!

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One of my most anticipated thrillers of 2024 and it did NOT disappoint! I was wholly absorbed in the tense storyline and the cryptic and intriguing prose. The insightful dissection of the destructive effects of parental expectations and small-town gossip was incredibly well done, as was the exploration of the complex and inescapable nature of fraternal and sororal bonds. My heart broke for June and for Becky, as well as the long-dead yet ever-present Phoebe, as their unique yet closely-woven stories brought them closer and closer to a climactic and heartrending conclusion. Will definitely be recommending this one!

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This is the story of a small town with secrets -- always an intriguing premise. The town's golden girl, Phoebe, died in a car accident ten years ago. And everyone can't stop wondering why her brother, the driver, took 27 minutes to call an ambulance, when Phoebe likely would have survived had he called on time.

This book starts with an incredibly heartbreaking prologue as Phoebe lays dying in the rain. Then we flash forward ten years, to Grant, Phoebe's brother, who is not doing well. In fact, no one in this town is doing well. This is a multi-POV story that tells us the perspective of a few different people who were there the night Phoebe died, jumping back and forth in time between the present and the events leading up to the accident. I admit I could not figure out what had happened, and did NOT see that twist at the end coming. If you like small-town mysteries, unlikable characters, and mysteries with a twist, definitely pick this one up!

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The epic and visceral prologue immediately hooked me. From cover to cover, this story is so gripping. It had a hold of me and never let go. This is the example I’m going to give for how I want every mystery/thriller to be like. The writing is perfection. Like, I cannot even believe that this is a debut, honestly. This is an author to watch for! This is going to be the biggest and best new thriller writer of 2024.

The pacing is impeccable. Not only do I love the short chapters (always gives me that quick-win hype) but the hints and clues and cliffhangers that get dropped in each one kept me incessantly turning the pages. The sequencing of events and reveals build up the perfect avalanche of suspense. It’s a dark, ominous, super compelling read. Every chapter gives meaning and nuance to the overall story arc - thankfully no fluff here.

There are so many sides to this story, with unreliable narrators that will have you questioning everything you think you know. Everyone has their own truths. The multiple POVs give us breadcrumbs of the pieces that let us slowly piece things together.

It’s a very character-driven story. The author is incredible at showing and detailing them through their actions and interactions. All of their voices are so unique. Everything felt so real; the storytelling is unbelievably good. The way the author gets into the minds and psyches of the characters is disturbingly chilling. The story is full of grief, trauma, tragedy, and secrets, and the shockwave of repercussions that all of it has over a lifetime and within the community.

There was a point at which I was just ready for the twist to come, and I wish a little more time had been spent in the conclusion of events. But that’s just because I was so invested in the story and outcome for the characters.

I’ve truly never read anything quite like this before! Which is such an accomplishment in this genre that seems to rewash tropes. It’s a profound and emotional story that you won’t want to miss. I cannot recommend it highly enough - you have to read it!

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I loved this book. I thought it was well written and creative. The spiritual ending was very enjoyable, although it surprised me! I thought I had the ending figured out! I found this book to be captivating, heartfelt, mysterious and had just the right amount of suspense at times. The realism of the emotions and reactions to grief are dead on. I believe it will make a great book club read. Well done!

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I received this as an advanced reader copy from NetGalley

Wow, so 10 years ago Phoebe died as the results of a car accident. It is getting close to the anniversary of the death. There are still questions about what happened that night and if the story that the survivors gave was true or not.

This book totally pulls you in for the ride. I could not put it down! YAWN the next day cause I stayed up tooo late to finish it!

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Grief is over all the book. Death of a young girl and the whole town keep the truth untold. Descriptive writing on feeling, scenario is excellent.

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I absolutely tore through this book! The writing style, storyline, and atmosphere hooked me from the beginning, and the natural pacing and feel of the dialogue kept me going until the end. The only downside to this book is that it's a debut novel, so I nothing else to read by Ashley Tate right now!

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Twenty-Seven Minutes is so secretly suspenseful with hidden tidbits cleverly revealed that you won't want to put it down until the surprising ending. I loved all the twists that builds the anticipation of solving the mystery. Ashley Tate is a writer to experience.

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The way this book builds tension is unreal. The last half of the book in particular felt like a corkscrew, grinding and grinding towards the conclusion. The reveals were enjoyable and exciting as they came, and I felt myself pulled along and unable to put the book down, finishing the last half in one sitting. The prose is literary leaning, the style lovely and stark and heart-breaking. This book feels like grief in verse. I loved it. If you enjoyed We Were Liars, or are looking for a literary modern version of an Agatha Christie novel with more teeth, you'll love this book, too.

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