Three Hours

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 13 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

Three Hours tells the story of a school under siege and is told from various perspectives of the hostages held in different parts, and buildings of the school.

Sadly, I have not been able to finish the book as there are too many characters being introduced from the beginning, the descriptions and narrative jumps all over the place and is very confusing.  The story does not flow smoothly and could find no attachment to the characters.

If I ever find myself with nothing else to do - I may give it another go but that is unlikely
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A great read.  It took a little more than three hours, but It was a thrilling read. A battle of good versus evil, acceptance and love. It's easier to love than to be predujiced. A tense and exciting book.
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Three Hours opens with the horror of terrified children barricading themselves into rooms, a shot headmaster and a masked gunman stalking the corridors of a Somerset school. The pupils are spread across two main sites, one for older children and one for those between 4-11 and the action jumps mostly between these two groups and a couple of individuals within the surrounding areas such as the beach and the woods surrounding the school where an explosive device has also detonated. The terror unfolds as the children try to help their fallen headmaster and barricade themselves away from the gunman while contacting news outlets and communicating with their distraught families via FaceTime and social media. Is the information they are giving out helping or hindering the gunmen? Who are the gunmen - is it one person bearing a grudge or perhaps a group of them, with even more sinister intentions? Suspicions and accusations fall on a couple of young Muslim refugees who are missing from the main school areas. Rumours are rife - even if it's not them, is it still their fault because someone is disgruntled at the support the school is showing to them?

There are several important topics touched upon in the book; Most obviously the threat of school shootings becoming more prevalent across the world and not just in the US, and the continuing refugee crisis of the last few years. Within this the attitudes of local communities towards those who successfully make it to a new country and the effects it can have on both individuals and a community are examined, and also how people show support until they feel threatened and then turn against those who are most vulnerable.

I love Rosamund Lupton's writing, she is detailed and emotive, and you can picture the frosty woods, and imagine the fear of the children, waiting, listening, praying that they are not next to see the gunman close up. I thought the refugee brothers' story was wonderfully wound throughout the novel, heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measure, and will hopefully make anyone who thinks that these people endure crossing treacherous seas in tiny, unsafe boats just to take advantage of the welfare system, think again. Although attempts are made to delay the reveal of the gunman's identity, I guessed who it was from the first few times they were mentioned. I didn't guess the reason though. Ultimately I felt a little detached from this novel for some reason. There were so many characters introduced that it was difficult to keep up with at times and I didn't really feel any affiliation with them. I also felt it was a bit drawn out and and slow for anything to happen - although that I imagine is reflecting in some way the slowness of time passing for those trapped in the school.

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This is a fictional book which is unfortunately very topical. It follows events at a High school as White supremacists take over and threaten the staff and pupils. The story is covered from the point of view of the people inside the school who are being terrorised and the police outside who are trying to work out what is happening. The title ‘Three Hours’ comes from the police uncovering an encrypted tweet that exposes the terrorists plans to open fire on their victims at a certain time. The novel is incredibly well researched regarding previous similar events that have actually happened, and the way the police use technology to try and outsmart the terrorists. It is also heartbreaking to read as parents wait for news of their children or try to come to terms with the evil acts they have planned.
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I simply have no words to describe this book.

It is simply incredible. Rosamund Lupton's writing is just sensational, pulling the reader in from the very first page, keeping you hooked throughout and forming attachments to the characters. 

It's tense, it's dark, it's so real. A topic, that quite frankly is beginning to become the norm these days, has been taken and spun on its head. You feel for the victims, understand their anguish, their confusion, their hatred. You become one of them.

This isn't just a book about a school shooting, this books explores the drive behind committing such acts, it tackles a hate culture rife with both racists and extremists, it shows bravery and sacrifice.

A fantastic narrative, descriptive writing and engaging storyline. This is definitely one of the best books I have read so far this year.
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The story unfolds over the space of three hours, it's a minute by minute account of survival, love, hope and the bond of friendship and human relationships. It's one which will have you holding your breath and gripping the side of your chair.   

I read this book in a very short space of time, a very short space of time. In fact, and this is genuinely the truth once I picked it up I really struggled to put it down. Sometimes words like compelling and gripping tend to be over used or exaggerated in reviews but I cannot think of two adjectives to better suit my reading experience - "glued to my kindle" just isn't quite as eloquent.

'Three Hours' is told from multiple perspectives; children in different places within the school, the police officer heading up the investigation, parents as they desperately wait for news of their children, and the teachers. I really enjoyed reading these different perspectives, Rosamund Lupton created a cast of well developed characters, ones which I ended up genuinely caring about.

I don't want to go into too much detail about the story and give anything away as a lot of the plot of this book is cleverly crafted, it relies on Rosamund's ability to create suspense and tension, both of which she does expertly. She is also able to deftly navigate the reader into believing a whole array of possibilities in terms of who, what, where and the motivation behind the attack.

I love a book that utilises it's environment, what Rosamund managed to accomplish with the use of weather was amazing, it almost became a character. The snow and wind, further adding to the confusion, isolation and vulnerable nature of the school.

Rosamund really honed in on the use of fear, hearsay, how the media create scapegoats. It was this part of the book which really hit home and it's easy to forget sometimes when you are surrounded by like minded people, that sadly this is so prevalent within our society. The headlines from UK newspapers and tweets from Donald Trump chilled me to the core. There was something so shocking when I saw them all together in black and white.
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Superbly well written, frighteningly credible novel. Highly atmospheric and pacey. Reads like a top quality television drama. Emotionally charged and totally absorbing. This will undoubtedly be another best seller for this very talented author.
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I was completely hooked on this story!  A nightmare scenario where a school is under threat from an unknown number of gunmen.  The tension builds as more facts become known about the perpetrators and you realise that they seem to hold all the cards.
I couldn't get through this book fast enough.  It's well written and well researched.
My thanks to Netgalley for this copy.
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An astonishing read. Excellent plot. 

Detective Inspector Rose Polstein had been waiting in St Michael’s Maternity hospital department when her pager beeped, “School attack. A chopper waiting.” In her hurry to get to the helicopter she forgets her coat, scarf and gloves – being cold is going to be the least of her worries over the next few hours as she and the other police involved in this major incident try to unravel who the perpetrators are of this hostage situation at the Cliff Heights School. 

The school is somewhat unconventional to the norm and the setting for the school is also unusual. There is the Old School, New School and Junior School. Buildings are scattered across a huge wooded locale. The police’s work is not going to be easy and to add to their concerns is they are forced to work while a heavy snowstorm is lashing the woods with snow making it almost impossible to see a hand, let alone whether danger is lurking around the corner. 

There is so much I’d love to discuss this book. It would make the perfect read for a book club. 


The Elite Book Group received a copy of the book to read.
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I'm jumping on the bandwagon and not getting off! I've seen nothing but 5 star reviews for this book and I can see why. Three Hours tells the story of a liberal English high school under threat from gunmen one ordinary morning. When the kids go to school that day they don't imagine they will be building a barricade from books in the library, or making pottery tiles to protect the windows. They don't think they will be taking their clothes off to stem the blood from their headmasters gunshot wounds. But they do all this and more in this evocative novel which showcases the strength of the human spirit.

In extraordinary circumstances we never know how we would react, who would be the hero? I loved all the different characters and all the different reactions to the terrible actions that are going on around them. You really feel the will to survive and protect. Especially the teachers towards the pupils under their care. I loved the characters of Rafi, Basi, Hannah and Neil.

They have no idea why they are under threat or who is doing this to them. But as time passes they get information from the police and social media. It is soon a race against time before anything worse happens. I thought the use of social media was really clever and makes you think about the messages that are put out there from the media and certain individuals. I'm all for free speech, but there is a difference between that and hate speech/hate crimes. I think this is very much a book for the moment.
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Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton is a stunning and absolutely gripping novel. If this is the standard of books for 2020 then we are all in for an amazing year.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The coldest day in five years. A snowstorm. A single gunshot fired at 9:16am...what follows is a harrowing multiple first POV story from the perspective of students,teachers parents and police of a school under siege. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Second by second, minute by minute, the book takes place over three intense harrowing hours. No spoilers here but the first hand accounts are crafted with razor sharp precision by Lupton. These personal stories are emotional, tear jerking but most importantly delivered with real insight and not simply for sensationalism. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This is a book I will not forget, it packs a massive gut punch. It is a story ripped from the news headlines and as a Londoner fuels my fears on a daily basis. The substance of the novel is about hate, but at it heart it’s about overcoming this hate with hope and love, which says a lot about the enduring power of the human spirit.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
An intense emotional masterpiece ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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This book was amazing, leaves you feeling every emotion. It was such an intense read I couldn’t wait to keep reading, I had to know what happened. The ending was so good. It’s hard to say anymore without spoiling it.
Read the book it’s amazing!
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I have to start off my review by saying that there was so much more to this story than what I was first expecting. This book made me sit up and take notice from the very first page! The plot itself is a rollercoaster ride but the characters who have found themselves in this terrible situation also made it even more compelling for me. As I sat down to write this review I thought about each character and how much they all brought to the story. How this event impacted all of them and how their stories combined to create something powerful, dark and at times haunting too.

I felt the tension throughout and even when I wasn’t reading this book I was thinking about it. Three Hours shows you the students and their teachers who are caught up in this nightmare situation. You meet the police and experience their efforts to investigate who is behind everything along with seeing the anguish faced by parents as they wait anxiously for news. I thought the use of flashbacks to earlier in the day helped to build up an even deeper connection with the characters along with letting me take a breath. It allowed that little bit of relief even just for a short time from some of the intensity and the pressure. All of these different threads came together to create an addictive story and also to show the strength of these characters.

The fact that this book takes place over three hours really makes an impact. I guess in the grand scheme of things three hours doesn’t really seem all that long. However put yourself in the characters shoes and that time becomes a terrible and harrowing experience. The entire book brought forward different emotions and I have to admit that I had tears in my eyes as I finished the final page. Three Hours is a story that made me think about love, hate, fear and everything in between!
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I read Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton in, well I’d like to say three hours but that would be impossible for me, but definitely, three days which is fast for me. From the very first page, this book sucked me in and took me on a rollercoaster of a ride which lasted until the very last page.

I was totally hooked and desperately wanted to get to the end but at the same time, I really didn’t want the book to be over. I loved the diverse characters, how the situation brought out the good in many and how the school itself and the weather became characters of their own.

Three Hours is a book that I thought about a lot since finishing it, it has stayed with me and I have actually considered reading it again which I never, ever do as there are just too many books that I want to read to spend time reading one twice, but I think that I will be reading it again soon.

This book really was amazing, It may just be February but I am confident that this book will be in my top 2020 books.
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Wow! Incredible read.
Three hours really isn’t that long, but the story is told over a timeline of three hours and so much is packed into those hours. 
The story starts off very dramatically and draws you in immediately, then starts to build on characters.
I liked the story switching to different peoples points of view and perspectives, from pupils, to parents, to the police and bringing the various threads of the story together.
Set in a rural, very tolerant  liberal fee paying British school,  which  is under seize by gunmen in the middle of a winter blizzard.
The school buildings are spread out over large areas amongst woods making it feel atmospheric  and I could see the snowy landscape in my mind.
It houses school children aged from as young as 4 and up to age 18. 
This book definitely set my nerves on edge, it’s a very sensitive subject but one I feel the author handles extremely well. 
I became very fond of the teachers and pupils whilst reading this book and found myself really rooting for the refugee brothers Rafi and Basi, holding my breath many times. The things those boys had to endure is heartbreaking. 
It’s a story of good versus evil, bravery, loneliness, refugees, racism, radicalisation, cyber tech, procedure, family, friendship, camaraderie and love. It’s all there in this fabulous book and will stay with me for a long time.
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I read this book in one sitting I could not put it down. So beautifully written, the courage, love, compassion, vulnerability and sense of community in this book.
The atmosphere in this book its dark and eerie. It’s a snowy November morning in the small mountainous town of Somerset. School is about to begin, when 16-year-old Rafi walking in school grounds with his younger brother Basi hears a bomb exploding. He is certain it is a bomb Rafi is suffering PTSD having fled Syria a year earlier with his younger brother to the UK. Rafi raises the alarm to Headmaster Matthew Marr the school immediately goes into lock-down as an amber alert is enforced.

The school is taken under siege, by masked men, gunfire has erupted. The teachers are quick to enforce lockdown and take cover with students inside the school as the masked gunmen pace up and down the hallways taunting and terrorizing them.

The siege takes place over three hours, it will all be over after three hours either way.

The book give us different POVs from students and teachers in separate locations throughout the school, giving us insight to what they are experiencing. We see the harrowing levels the teachers go to in protecting the children and the students show love, courage and compassion under horrific circumstances.

There is so much I loved about this book, Rafi and his love for his younger brother Basi the trauma they escaped and their heartbreaking journey from Syria to the UK. The selfless actions of Neil Forbright and the kind-hearted headmaster Mr Marr.

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Three Hours - Rosamund Lupton

Three Hours is a fast paced story where a primary school in Somerset is set under siege by gunman in the middle of a snow storm.  A reality that everyone in modern Britain is forever fearing, but this is far more London the sleepy Somerset. Is it terrorists or someone with a grudge?

The story is told from a number of the hostages inside the school, pupils and teachers alike, the police officer in charge of finding out who the perpetrators are and the parents waiting anxiously for news. It starts with what sounds like an explosion in the woods, then gun shots, the police car is shot at and then the head master is shot. From then fear and footsteps of a stalking gunman. 

It is tense story from the start leaving you waiting for it to unfold, it keeps you drawn in with the quick pace. You don’t get to know any of the characters too deeply apart from the two Syrian refugee brothers, Rafi and Basi both rescued by the head master. Such a hard life back in Syria and escaping to the UK and now they are in the middle of this hostage situation. 

The story was good, possibly too many characters perspectives in such a short space of time  The book lead to a fraught ending which left  me a little disappointed or maybe more confused, I am pretty sure that I didn’t miss anything, but was left unsure who the baddies were. Have seen a few other readers with similar comments. All in all I enjoyed the story and tense nature, I give this a solid 4/5. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my free copy in exchange for this honest review.
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I really was open and ready to enjoy this book after reading others by, and a fan of, this author. Regretfully this story was not one I enjoyed.  The premise boded well on all fronts as was topical, chilling and believable. However after the initial interest I found myself lost in numerous characters, minutiae detail and confused narrative. The writing style felt convoluted and I found myself struggling to stay with the authors delivery of this story. Not for me nor could I give a recommendation any higher than two star to aptly show my level of enjoyment.
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I couldn't finish this book.  I wanted to enjoy it as I've loved previous books by this author but a quarter of the way through after 3 months of trying I had to admit defeat. 
This book really wasn't for me.
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This was a taut and utterly gripping thriller that kept me glued to the page. It’s brilliantly written and masterfully crafted so that the whole action of the novel takes place over just three short hours. I felt deeply for the characters and it was an emotionally intense read. I love the way the novel examines how people behave in a crisis - how the worst and the best in people comes to the fore - as well as what bravery truly looks like. A powerful read!
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