47 Minutes: A Book Review

Published 1:00 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Local author Jon D. Marsh sets a brisk pace with every event in his novella spanning 47 minutes. It’s enough time to bring a thriller to life in a realistic, small-town Georgia setting.

The action spans the duration of the title, with the same 47 minutes experienced from the perspective of several different characters whose paths intersect as Marsh tells a story of robbery, sabotage, and intrigue coming to a head in Amery Georgia.

Police, secret agents, and locals of different ages, genders, and races trace paths that intersect in interesting ways, mirroring the organic interactions within a tight-knit community under pressure. Espionage results in believable reactions from local law enforcement who prepare for the unexpected but rarely experience it on such a massive scale, as loss of communications during a botched bank robbery leaves everyone scrabbling for answers.

A few flaws mark the novella. Romantic elements are rushed and forced, a common problem in thrillers. The sympathetic hostage taker whose gun turns out to be unloaded is an overused trope, but one that Marsh weaves well into the setting and action with a character who knows how to gamble his life and has the motivation to do it. Dialogue feels real, and the setting could be any small town in Georgia. Local and national intrigues combine in imaginative ways, leaving unintended consequences for the variety of players, with increasingly widening stakes, resulting in explosive actions scenes.

It will take longer than 47 minutes to read. You may not notice.

Interested readers can find Forty-Seven Minutes online at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.