The Zero Hour
Tony Evans’s life is falling apart. After nearly thirty years reporting for the San Francisco Chronicle, he and many others are laid off. They are only keeping a skeleton crew, and, of course, they are keeping the younger reporters. Tony is out the door with little to show for his years of loyalty. In addition to that, Tony’s wife, Amy, has left him and taken their eleven-year-old daughter, Nicki, with her. His life looks pretty bleak, but to make things worse, he has been summoned to San Quentin Prison to interview a serial killer on death row–one whose trial he had covered years before. The killer, Reynaldo Ramirez, threatens Tony that if he doesn’t write what Ramirez wants and get it printed on the front page of The Chronicle, someone near and dear to Tony will be killed. Tony doesn’t acquiesce immediately, but when his daughter is kidnapped, Tony realizes Ramirez has somehow managed to accomplish that from death row. Ramirez will die in four days, and Tony has to follow Ramirez’s instructions completely and perfectly to get clues to finding his daughter. If he doesn’t find her by the time Ramirez dies, Ramirez threatens that Nicki will die as well. Tony has to convince The Chronicle to run his stories, his friend to write the stories so Tony can search for Nicki, and make his wife trust and believe in him, while keeping the cops at bay. All the while, the clock keeps ticking!
Ben Graziose has built a compelling story with three-dimensional characters in a gritty and real world. They face tremendous danger under harrowing circumstances. The book would benefit from a round of good editing and strong proofreading and a consistent point of view, but the story and characters will make most readers ignore those problems.
|Page Count||184 pages|
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