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Fiction Crime

Twenty-Seven Minutes

by (author) Ashley Tate

Doubleday Canada
Initial publish date
Jan 2024
Crime, Psychological, Suspense
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2024
    List Price

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"[Ashley Tate] is a writer to watch." —Globe and Mail
In this stunning and propulsive debut, a town grieves the loss of a young girl--but some fight to keep the truth about her death a secret. For fans of Jane Harper, Ashley Flowers and Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.

Welcome to West Wilmer.

Where everyone knows everyone.

And where everyone has a secret.

THE QUESTION No one in the small, claustrophobic town of West Wilmer can forget Phoebe Dean, their sweet, beloved golden girl. It’s been ten years since the car crash that tragically took her life, yet one question lingers: Why did it take her brother, Grant, twenty-seven minutes to call for help after the accident?

THE SECRET As the anniversary of Phoebe’s death approaches, Grant is consumed by memories of that night and everything he lost: his future, his reputation, his little sister. And the secret he’s been keeping all these years is threatening to undo him. But he and Phoebe weren’t the only ones in the car that night. Becca was there, too, and she’ll do anything to protect Grant.

THE TRUTH Everyone in West Wilmer remembers Phoebe, but only June Delroy remembers the other person lost that same night. Her brother, Wyatt, disappeared ten years ago, without a trace.

Until someone appears at her door.

Someone who may know where Wyatt went all those years ago.

Someone who knows what really happened that night.

Someone who is ready to tell the truth.

Taking place over three days and culminating in a shocking twist that will leave you breathless, Twenty-Seven Minutes is a gripping story about what happens when grief becomes unbearable, dark secrets are unearthed, and the horrifying truth is revealed.

About the author

Contributor Notes

ASHLEY TATE worked for over a decade as a writer and an editor for various publications as well as Canada’s first online magazine. Twenty-Seven Minutes is her debut. She lives with her husband, their two children, and their dog in Toronto.

Editorial Reviews

“[Ashley Tate] is a writer to watch.” —The Globe and Mail

“Toronto writer Ashley Tate is in full William Faulkner mode in her debut thriller: not only is the past not dead, it’s decidedly not even past. . . . The novel is at its best in its examination of what happens when grief over lost loved ones collides with guilt about complicity in their fate. (Spoiler alert: nothing good.).” —The Toronto Star

"Twenty-Seven Minutes is the rare gift that delivers it all: elevated prose, characters with depth, unpredictable twists, and a pitch-perfect mood that is wonderfully consuming. This story of a small town’s obsessive hold on a decade-old tragedy, as four people in its grip try to move on, is both poignant and pacy, an unforgettable portrait of grief and the darkest ties that bind. A must-read debut that marks Ashley Tate as a brilliant new voice in literary suspense." —Ashley Audrain, New York Times bestselling author of The Push

"I was completely transfixed by Twenty-Seven Minutes, a taut, raw, powerful suspense that centers around a decade-old tragedy that's traumatized a community. Ashley Tate has written a masterful collision course of pain, sorrow, and grief that sliced open my veins and tore out my heart." —Samantha M. Bailey, USA Today and #1 bestselling author of Woman on the Edge and Watch Out for Her

"Twenty-Seven Minutes is a beautifully written story of family secrets, dangerous obsessions, and the unsolved mysteries that can haunt a small town for years. With her well-rounded characters, breakneck pacing, and emotional depth, Ashley Tate is a new thriller writer to watch." —Robyn Harding, internationally bestselling author

"Ashley Tate weaves a fascinating mystery dripping with grief and regret. Equal parts suspense and emotion, Twenty-Seven Minutes will seize your heart and won't let it go." —Sara Ochs, author of The Resort and The Di

"A great read! Twenty-Seven Minutes vividly brings to life the long-term impact of grief and loss alongside an intriguing mystery. Well-paced with a satisfying ending and unexpected twist—I found it unputdownable." —Patricia Wolf, author of Outback

"I raced through this suspenseful debut. I loved the smart dialogue, the sense of foreboding, and the stunning setting. But, most of all, I was hooked by the characters, the twists, and the ‘Who on earth could have done this?’ puzzle. Definitely a writer to watch." —Jane Corry, internationally bestselling author of Coming to Find You and My Husband's Wife

"With cleverly woven accounts, this book ratchets up the tension chapter by chapter, detailing the days leading to the memorial of the dead girl. A searing portrait of loss and abandonment, we are pulled along in its wake until the final question is answered: Why did he wait?"
—Sam Holland, author of The Echo Man and The Twenty

"In Twenty-Seven Minutes, Ashley Tate creates a tense and deeply affecting story of desperation, dysfunction, and tragedy that stays with the reader long after the final twist. Skillfully plotted and darkly atmospheric—I thoroughly enjoyed this gripping debut."
—Rosemary Hennigan, author of The Favorite

"Twenty-Seven Minutes by Ashley Tate is a ride and a half. Tate nails the small-town vibe and the messiness of human emotions, making this an all-consuming read. If you're up for a story about regret, memories, and the ripple effect of one decision, this book is for you."
—Caroline Mitchell, author of The Village

"A twisting, beautiful, deeply affecting mystery from a commanding new talent. Twenty-Seven Minutes is by turns evocative and unpredictable, truly gripping and deeply satisfying. I loved it."
—Chris Whitaker, New York Times bestselling author of We Begin at the End

"I tore through Twenty-Seven Minutes like a woman possessed. Equal parts haunting and propulsive, this fast-moving thriller grabs hold of you and doesn't let go until the final page. The entire reading experience feels like walking on thin ice—like you're waiting for something to crack, and when it does, it's entirely as satisfying as you’d hoped. I can't wait for more from Ashley Tate." —Jenny Hollander, author of Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead

"Ashley Tate has woven together a compelling read that captures fraught friendships, small-town intrigue, and complex family dynamics. As the clock ticks, you'll race to discover what actually happened in the twenty-seven minutes that forever changed so many lives."
—Kristen Bird, author of I Love It When You Lie

"Twenty-Seven Minutes is a book with incredible pace and plotting, populated with characters that are convincing—sometimes heartbreakingly so. Like ripples in a pond, the ramifications of one night spread out through a town's inhabitants, seeping into their lives and consciousnesses. With Ashley Tate, you're in the very best of hands to navigate each character's journey and the myriad faces of grief. Yes, there's a twist, which is so deftly and beautifully done that it left me in awe. Bravo—what a great read." —Jo Leevers, author of Tell Me How This Ends