One day, a bespectacled fox walked into the playground with a carpet in its mouth. It set up shop in the early hours of the afternoon. Anyone was welcome to sit on its carpet and tell the fox their troubles. The fox would help, in any way, if it could.
I read Two Minutes Past Midnight in a single sitting. There were times when I felt the lag, but often I did not. I finished the entire book in just under two hours, and put it down having genuinely enjoyed my time with it, particularly the conclusion which had well-executed tension. That being said, this is not a perfect book, while it is entertaining.
The beginning of the book is quite slow, with lots of exposition which is handled in a rather odd manner, through dialogue which reads more like narrative prose than how someone would actually recant a story to someone else. There is also a lot of repetition in these early stages, the removal of which I think the book could have benefitted from. Yet the book is full of little details which make the world come alive – in particular, I enjoyed being able to orient myself in London through the inclusion of small geographical details and landmarks.
From a narrative perspective, I think the book’s biggest failing is the female characters, who are rather unbelievable in their interactions with Amar, the protagonist. That being said, one does provide the possibility of an interesting framing device which is never fully confirmed, adding an extra psychological layer.
Amar is by far the most deeply developed character, despite being rather unlikeable. This, however, is not a negative thing; Amar is interesting to read about and I particularly enjoyed the chapters from his POV which explored the headspace of an addict with PTSD in a different and more nuanced way than I have seen elsewhere.
Unfortunately, there are many typos in this book, particularly with regards to (though not limited to) speech marks and inverted commas.
Two Minutes Past Midnight is an enjoyable read, and I would recommend it for fans of thrillers and mysteries.