12 November 2014

Review #71: The Black Hour by Lori Reader-Day

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Malcolm X (born Malcolm Little), also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, who was an American Black Muslim minister and a spokesman for the Nation of Islam, has quoted "violence" as:

“Sometimes you have to pick the gun up to put the Gun down.”

Lori Rader-Day, an American author, has spun a spectacular tale about violence in her debut book, The Black Hour. The author has extended the horizon to let us see through the very lives behind the campus corridors and classrooms and playground, where every day without our any knowledge, a student-teacher relationship blossoms which might sound very significant from their perspective but we never get to know the end of those relationships. And the author has not only focused on those forbidden closed-door relationships, but has also made us enlighten with the reasons behind the petty violence occurring every single day!

A sociology professor named, Amelia Emmet, who gets shot, be one of her fellow student and after shooting her, that boy shot himself to death. Now a year has passed, Amelia Emmet is back into her teaching profession, but it seems adjusting with her old curriculum sounds quite challenging. It's getting hard for her to handle those weird stares in the hallway, sinister looks in the staffroom, etc. Then comes, Nath Barber, who is her new Teaching Assistant and wants to do his dissertation on the attack on Amelia. Two human beings, searching for the same answers, and hence they find themselves on the crossroads where they need to learn to trust and believe each other to move on the same path, which is not only excruciating, but also dark, challenging and infernal. Will their journey be fruitful and be able to find all the hidden pieces to the puzzle?

The author is a mastermind, who knows how to make her readers sweat it out with anticipation, which nearly killed me. She has brilliantly kept the mystery hidden till the very climax and along with Amelia; we too were clueless as to why such an attack occurred on her. And from the very first page, there is a smell of suspense that is quite unraveling and utterly sinister. And the characters make the plot more justifiable, with their flaws and complexity, they make themselves believable and sounds like some everyday characters. The characters have that depth to pull you into the very core of the tale/mystery. I loved how the author has unfolded her twists and turns at the very right moments all throughout the book. And what to say about the plot- it’s completely packed with thrill and makes your heart and soul gripped to the plot till its very end.

Verdict: It’s not every day that you'll come across such a compelling and thoroughly thrilling debut novel. Don't miss out this dark novel which will put you on the very edge of the thrill!

Courtesy: I can't thank enough to the author, Lori Rader-Day, who provided me with a review copy of her debut book. 

Author Info:
LORI RADER-DAY is the author of the mystery The Black Hour (Seventh Street Books, 2014). Born and raised in central Indiana, she now lives in Chicago with her husband and dog. Her fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Time Out Chicago, and others.
Visit her here 

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