21 Hours by Dustin Stevens

Most reviewers, so as not to spoil it for potential readers, will avoid giving excessive details regarding the content of a book. However, in this instance, the book’s own synopsis 51qval3i0klprovides much of the detail. It is therefore simpler to set out the synopsis here rather than regurgitate it all in the writer’s (that is the reviewer’s) own words.

‘Felix “O” O’Connor is an ex-con from central Ohio that has spent the seven years since being released from prison working on a ranch in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Rarely does he venture out into the world and never does it come looking for him.

Both of those things change when his twin sister Alexa “Lex” Borden calls from Columbus, Ohio to ask for his help. Earlier that afternoon, she and her husband were both beaten unconscious and their two year old daughter abducted from their front yard. Nobody saw a thing, the police are stumped, and it is a well known statistic that if a child isn’t found in the first 48 hours, they rarely are.

O immediately drives back to Ohio and finds himself with just 21 hours to find his beloved niece before potentially losing her forever. Plunging himself into a world he’d long ago left behind, he crosses paths with criminal masterminds, human traffickers, gun runners, drug smugglers, blood-thirsty spectators and suspicious detectives all in the name of bringing her home.’

21 Hours is an easy reasonably paced action story. In many ways it is heartrending: although a fictional tale, it portrays a realty which is horrible to imagine. It reminds the reader that such things not only go on but appear to be on the increase i.e. ‘human trafficking’. But this is not the place to discuss such matters. The story is consequently, in part, an emotionally human one.

The protagonist fulfils the role of ‘hero’ well. He undergoes no end of physical hardships, his survival of which sometimes boarders on the unbelievable. But after all that is the nature of ‘heroes’.

The pace is just right, maintaining the reader’s interest; the desire to know what is going to happen next, and ultimately, is maintained throughout. The scenarios are varied and the twists and turns often unexpected. The book could easily be adapted into a good television drama/film.

This is an engaging tale that falls within the general reading category. I award it three stars (3*). That is not to decry the quality. Readers of my reviews will understand my stance on review ratings i.e. that most books realistically fall within the three-star bracket; see here for further information.

The book is available in several formats including paperback (standard and large print), e-book, audio book, MP3 Format, etc.

Amazon.com               Amazon.co.uk

N.B. There are a couple of slightly different covers depending upon where you are looking.

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