Friday, October 19, 2018

Twelve Minutes to Midnight #1 by Christopher Edge

Twelve Minutes to Midnight (Twelve Minutes to Midnight, #1)My name is Penelope Tredwell, and no one knows I've been running a best-selling magazine called The Penny Dreadful. People love the chilling stories I've written, but they're very curious about the reclusive author. I decided to hire an actor named Monty to fool them, but a reporter has been dogging me for information. Now, the local mental hospital has patients all waking up at the same time every night, writing strange messages about things called MTV, an unsinkable ocean liner going down in the Atlantic, and a quotation saying "The eagle has landed". Monty's love for drinking makes him less than helpful, but his presence allowed me to get inside the hospital.  I don't understand how a rough-looking orderly, a mysterious heiress, and spiders might be involved, but I'm getting close. Maybe too close.

The second half of the book was better than the first. The problem of patients waking up with cryptic messages about the future was very interesting, but the first half of the plot was predictable. There were only a couple of suspects, so the focus of the investigation was limited. The problem seemed to be solved around the book's midpoint, but that's when things became more compelling. The issues in the hospital were resolved, but the cause was not. Penelope's young age handcuffed her ability to collect evidence, so the plot moved along slowly with expected events. However, things picked up once she ignored the limits her age presented. Spiders were quite important to the plot, so be warned if they make you squeamish. The most intriguing part of the book was the use of poison-induced dreams, and the way the author used them as a tool or weapon. How does a person stop a mass psychosis? Overall, the book offered an interesting mystery with a unique heroine. Trying to remain anonymous created an unusual subplot. It might be worth your while to give the book a shot. 

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