13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

13 Minutes

13 Minutes | Sarah Pinborough | Gollancz | Feb 2016

About the Book

I was dead for 13 minutes.

I don’t remember how I ended up in the icy water but I do know this – it wasn’t an accident and I wasn’t suicidal.

They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but when you’re a teenage girl, it’s hard to tell them apart. My friends love me, I’m sure of it. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t try to kill me. Does it?

13 MINUTES by Sarah Pinborough is a gripping psychological thriller about people, fears, manuiplation and the power of the truth. A stunning read, it questions our relationships – and what we really know about the people closest to us . . .

13 Minutes CoverReview

Over the last couple of years I’ve been building up a nice little stack of Sarah Pinborough’s books to read.

You see. I keep spotting them, being intrigued by the synopsis and enthralled by covers. Yet, I had not managed to read a single one…. The best way to resolve this situation was to add yet another, right?

Of course, that is not quite the whole story. I actually requested 13 Minutes via Netgalley. Figuring that having one I had to review, might just give me the push I needed. Turns out, this was an excellent plan.

13 Minutes is a brilliant psychological thriller that lulls you in. It hides the  tension early on beneath a layer of history and bitchiness between the main group of teenage girls. Ex-friends and never-friends, there’s a lot of history and enmity between them.

None of them are angels. They can all be manipulative and mean when they want to be. Sarah Pinborough shows a lot of skill in making sure that there’s likability when needed as well.

The tension builds as Becca and Natasha navigate this getting closer and closer to what happened that night. Who was involved? Who knows more than they are letting on?

I loved the format of mainly following Becca on this journey. Mixed in are extracts from the main investigating officer’s reports. Text message conversations between the girls, and journal entries from Natasha.

Gradually steering (and missteering) you towards the truth. Before you know it, Sarah Pinborough has ratcheted the tension right up. Until you realise you’ve been holding your breath far longer than is healthy for you!

There’s a revelation during the story, that will have you wanting to go right back to the start and begin again. I would compare it to the effect of knowing the ending of The Sixth Sense. Looking back, you can’t help but see all the little details in a new way, and it could only reward re-reading the book I reckon.

If 13 Minutes is an example of Sarah Pinbourgh’s writing. I don’t think it will be long before I read one of her books on my TBR pile… Hopefully, before I add yet another to it!  

My copy of 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough was provided by the publisher via Netgalley for review purposes.