Stefani Sloma

Book Review: The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day

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The Black Hour is the best debut novel I have read in a long while. I was blown away by it. Let me tell you why below.

The Black Hour

AUTHOR: Lori Rader-Day
PUBLISHER: Seventh Street Books
RELEASE DATE: July 8, 2014
GENRE: Thriller, mystery, crime
LENGTH: 331 pages

Pick up a copy of The Black Hour and check it our for yourself!

The Black Hour is about a university professor, Amelia Emmet, who was shot in the gut the year before by a student who shot her and then himself. It’s about a graduate student, Nath Barber, who becomes her TA and wants to do his dissertation on what happened to her. It is about those two people, but it is about so much more. The Black Hour is about going through some of the most difficult things in your life and hoping to make it through to the other side.

Amelia didn’t know the student who shot her nor why he did it, but no one believes that. It is only through her connection to Nath and a little-bit-obsessive reporter that she begins the journey to the truth.

I’ve got to say that I thought I knew where this book was going to go, and I was pleasantly surprised shocked. It keeps you in suspense the whole time and all of the twists and turns in the story kept me on the edge of my seat and turning pages (okay, pushing the “next page” button on my Kindle). The plot was so well thought-out and nothing is out of place. Rader-Day’s prose is wonderful: gripping, tight, and completely compelling.

One of my favorite things about this book is how flawed these characters are and how wholly believable they feel. They are complex. They are human. Rader-Day has created characters that you could meet on the street. I was blown away by how REAL they felt to me.

It’s hard to categorize The Black Hour. It’s a perfect combination of mystery, thriller, crime, and literary fiction. The best part is that you don’t have to be a fan of all of those things to enjoy it. You don’t have to be a crime fiction fan to enjoy this book. It was practically unputdownable for me. Not only was I in suspense the entire time, but I also found myself laughing out loud several times as well. I honestly can’t believe that this is Rader-Day’s debut novel. It’s easy to tell that she’s been writing for a long time. Her prose felt comfortable, polished.

I read an e-ARC of The Black Hour, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be buying myself a physical copy after the novel comes out. I cannot wait to see what comes next from this author.

If you want to learn a little more about The Black Hour, I discussed two of my favorite quotes from the book on my blog.

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