BOOK REVIEW: “Nine Minutes” By Beth Flynn


Disclaimer: While I will do my best to keep my reviews as spoiler free as possible, please do not reach for your pitchforks and hunt me down if any little details do slip out! Nothing major will be revealed, I promise!


On May 15, 1975, fifteen-year-old Ginny Lemon is abducted from a convenience store in Fort Lauderdale by a member of one of the most notorious and brutal motorcycle gangs in South Florida.

From that moment on, her life is forever changed. She gets a new name, a new identity and a new life in the midst of the gang’s base on the edge of the Florida Everglades—a frightening, rough and violent world much like the swamps themselves, where everyone has an alias and loyalty is tantamount to survival.

And at the center of it all is the gang’s leader, Grizz: massive, ruggedly handsome, terrifying and somehow, when it comes to Ginny, tender. She becomes his obsession and the one true love of his life.

So begins a tale of emotional obsession and manipulation, of a young woman ripped from everything she knows and forced to lean on the one person who provides attention, affection and care: her captor. Precocious and intelligent, but still very much a teenager, Ginny struggles to adapt to her existence, initially fighting and then coming to terms with her captivity.

Will she be rescued? Will she escape? Will she get out alive—or get out at all? Part psychological thriller, part coming-of-age novel, filled with mystery, romance and unexpected turns, Nine Minutes takes readers into the world of one motorcycle gang and inside the heart of a young girl, whose abduction brought about its fall.

*Sucks in breath*

You know those rare occasions where a book comes along and you finish it feeling as though reading it has changed you somehow?

Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn was it for me.

How I expected to feel – I didn’t. From the synopsis it seems pretty simple, right? Man kidnaps young girl. We hate man. Not necessarily. If Ginny was dealing with Stockholm Syndrome then I have it to.

I’m going to be honest, it was my obsession with Sons Of Anarchy that got me into reading MC books. I’ve read quite a few of them since and I do really enjoy them as long as they’re well-written and not so stereotypical that you can predict the plot and the characters.

This one is completely in a league of its own though.

It really is rare for me to find a book I love so much and not re-read it every so many months. Nine Minutes had such a profound impact on me that even after all this time, I don’t feel as though I’m ready to revisit Grizz’ and Ginny’s story just yet. In fact, I have both follow ups on my e-reader untouched. That’s when you KNOW an author has created something special. It’s a reminder that books are not always just words, they are a journey. In this case, Nine Minutes made me feel like I was on the back of a motorcycle going 200mph and trying not to fall off!

I felt as though I was right by Ginny’s side as she was forced to grow up a lot quicker than she should have. I read through my fingers at times and sobbed into a pillow at others. I felt her emotions, I felt her pain and I felt her conflict. I also became connected to the supporting characters who each brought their own emotional stories to the table.

I was so morally conflicted with Grizz. I SHOULD dislike him. No, I should hate him for what he did. But I can’t. He was devoted to her, no doubt. But what he did was deplorable. I felt like I needed to see a therapist after reading it just so they could explain to me what the bloody hell I was feeling. I probably could still do with seeing one now.

I don’t want to ruin the ending, so all I will say is that as difficult as I found it, it really is a credit to Beth and her determination to keep the story as real as possible. Not everything concludes with a happy ending, as much as we enjoy reading them.

I don’t think I will ever forget how this book or its characters made me feel. I still get that ache in my chest when I remember how it unfolds. I tell myself all the time that I need to read it again so that I can move on to the next two, but as pathetic as it sounds, I don’t think I’m brave enough just yet!

5/5 isn’t good enough for this masterpiece. Please, if you haven’t read this one already, make sure you add it to your 2017 reading list.

And yes, I got teary just writing this…

– L

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