Review: Six Minutes by Petronella McGovern


Title: Six Minutes

Author: Petronella McGovern

Published: July 1st 2019, Allen & Unwin

Status: Read June 2019, courtesy Allen & Unwin


My Thoughts:

“Three hundred and seventy-one, three hundred and seventy-two, three hundred and seventy-three…I’ve made it. I can stop counting now. Three hundred and seventy-three seconds. Six minutes.”

Six minutes after leaving her daughter, Bella, playing happily with her friends at playgroup, Lexie Parker returns to discover the three year old is missing, and none of the mothers that were supposed to be watching her can tell Lexie where her daughter went. Lexie clings to the idea that Bella has somehow simply wandered away, and be will found any minute, but as the hours pass and an extensive police search fails to find her, Lexie has to face other frightening possibilities. Someone knows what happened in those six minutes, but who?

McGovern provides us with plenty of suspects in the abduction of Bella, and keeps us guessing as the plot unfolds. The narrative moves between the perspectives of several characters, among them Lexie, her husband and Bella’s father, Marty, the investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Caruso, and Tara, one of the mother’s present at the playgroup when Bella went missing.

Everyone has secrets, some which prove to be relevant to Bella’s disappearance, some not, and the story is told in such a way that it’s almost impossible to guess where guilt or innocence may lie. While the question of what happened to Bella is Intriguing on its own, there is more than the one mystery in Six Minutes that kept me turning the pages.

I haven’t read many books set in Canberra (in the Australian Capital Territory), but the small community on the fringe of the city felt authentic and familiar. Residents turn out in force to help search for Bella, the media descends and causes chaos, and outsiders, and insiders, speculate wildly on social media, eager to be heard.

With a compelling cast of characters and a riveting plot, Six Minutes is an engrossing thriller from debut author Petronella McGovern.


Available from Allen & Unwin

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jackie
    Jul 03, 2019 @ 09:06:46

    Omg, I hope someone finds her.



  2. Verushka, an editor (@SydneyEditor1)
    Jul 03, 2019 @ 20:43:08

    Oh snap! We posted our reviews on the same day! This book was so tense, and I loved how the author made everyone unreliable in some way, and you couldn’t tell if they were guilty or no.



  3. 1girl2manybooks
    Jul 04, 2019 @ 19:48:15

    I have this to read but I have to wait until I get home from holiday!



  4. Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard
    Jul 05, 2019 @ 05:26:14

    It sounds really good, but omigosh, every mother’s nightmare… I’m not sure I could bear to read it.



  5. Mystica
    Jul 05, 2019 @ 11:03:32

    Rivetting.. I wonder whether this has a sad ending though.



  6. BOOKSandCaffine
    Jul 05, 2019 @ 12:30:01

    Now I’m worried and need to find out what happens!



  7. Beth F
    Jul 05, 2019 @ 21:29:53

    Oh wow, what a premise — I can’t imagine the horror of turning around and *not* seeing your child. I’m going to see if I can get a copy of this one.

    Liked by 1 person


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