Culture Street

Books

Three Hours Late by Nicole Trope

On June 3, 2013

By Sophia Whitfield

We are all too familiar with the terrible stories that appear in the news when a father, estranged from his wife, feels that access to his child has become a bargaining tool and as a result is pushed to breaking point. It has sparked a couple of recent novels, Schroder which we reviewed recently and Nicole Trope's latest novel, Three Hours Late.

Liz and Alex are a couple torn apart by the ravages of domestic violence. Liz has finally made the break, taking with her their son Luke to the safe haven of her mother’s home. But Alex is still Luke’s father. He has never harmed Luke and is keen to continue to spend time with his three year old son.

One night Liz lets her guard down and allows Alex to spend the night whilst her mother is out. Alex is under the impression that things have changed and he will soon have his wife and son back under his own roof, but Liz admits their dalliance was a mistake.

The morning of Liz’s revelation, the morning after their night together, Alex is scheduled to take Luke out for the day. Liz usually asks her mother to be present at hand over, but today she greets Alex with a happy Luke at her heels. Alex has long been under the misapprehension that his marriage can be mended. Liz’s admission hits him hard as he grapples with the realisation that he may not be able to restore his family to one unified unit.

Alex leaves the house with Luke in tow. Liz knows his mood is black and regrets having spoken harshly before his outing with Luke.

As the hours tick by fear threatens to overwhelm Liz. She knows what Alex is capable of when consumed by anger. Alex is never late – he is a stickler when it comes to appointment times and dates. Twenty minutes late turns into one hour, then one hour and twenty five minutes and so it continues. Friends gather around Liz to show support along with the police as they attempt to track down Alex and Luke.

A fast-paced, page-turner that will have you tearing through the pages to discover Luke’s fate.

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