Three Hours

Three Hours : The Top Ten Sunday Times Bestseller

4.21 (12,213 ratings by Goodreads)
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In rural Somerset in the middle of a blizzard, the unthinkable happens: a school is under siege.

Pupils and teachers barricade themselves into classrooms, the library, the theatre. The headmaster lies wounded in the library, unable to help his trapped students and staff. Outside, a police psychiatrist must identify the gunmen, while parents gather desperate for news.

In three intense hours, all must find the courage to stand up to evil and save the people they love.


'If you read only one thriller this year; make it this one: it is that good' DAILY MAIL


'It's beautifully, elegantly written, SO gripping, intelligent, timely, affecting and moving' MARIAN KEYES

'A brilliant literary thriller... moving, masterly' SUNDAY TIMES

'Kept us on the edge of our seats from start to finish' INDEPENDENT

'Brilliant' LEE CHILD

'Gob-smackingly, heart-stoppingly, breath-holdingly brilliant' RUTH JONES

'A novel that you live rather than merely read' DAILY TELEGRAPH


'An electrifying, pulse-racing novel' RED

'Wow! This is a stunner of a book, staggeringly good' JANE FALLON

'An emotionally devastating and beautifully observed literary thriller' OBSERVER

'Astonishing, powerful, terrifying, heartbreaking' EMMA FLINT

'Three Hours intersperses scenes of breath-sucking tension with stirring meditations on human nature' SARA COLLINS, GUARDIAN

'A brave, timely and intricately crafted work' EMMA STONEX
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 144 x 222 x 31mm | 437g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0241374499
  • 9780241374498
  • 104,171

Review quote

Three Hours is both a gripping thriller and a beautiful meditation on the nature of family, friendship, courage and unintended - lethal - consequences. Superb. It's beautifully, elegantly written, SO gripping, intelligent, timely, affecting and moving -- Marian Keyes Three Hours is one of the most exhilarating reading experiences I've ever had. Rosamund Lupton takes a dark, painful subject and turns it into a novel full of hope and compassion. An amazing achievement. -- Emma Healey Wow! This is a stunner of a book. Staggeringly good -- Jane Fallon Propulsively plotted and full of vivid characters who earn our concern, Three Hours held me in its eloquent grip -- Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of 'Room' Will chill your blood and break your heart by turns - a masterclass in suspense -- Cara Hunter ASTONISHING. Powerful, terrifying, heartbreaking -- Emma Flint Utterly breathtaking and dazzling -- Jenny Colgan Utterly brilliant, incredibly tense, written with real perception and beauty * Stylist * The drip-feed of information keeps the reader hooked and setting the story over three hours creates extraordinary tension that builds to a nerve-wracking crescendo. A gripping white-knuckle ride * Daily Express * An incredible, unbelievably powerful book... I forgot how to breathe as it explored what it means to be human - for better or for worse. It's taut, it's tight, it's appalling, it's uplifting, it's extraordinary. Simply stunning -- Dinah Jefferies There's no one else writing quite like Rosamund Lupton in fiction today - the way she combines high tension with a compassionate and humane take on the world is unique. Three Hours is exceptional - at turns heart-breaking, warm, terrifying, perceptive and grippingly page turning -- Kate Hamer Three Hours is Rosamund Lupton's best book yet, and that is high praise. A monster story for our fractious historical moment -- the age of the internet and of Columbine, of terror and mass migration -- when the monsters often look an awful lot like our own children. Chilling, suspenseful, humane, and brave -- William Landay This is an incredible novel: a heady combination of elegant writing, nuanced characterisation, deep emotion and heart-stopping tension. I was torn, all the way through, between wanting to slow down in order to relish the detail, and wanting to speed up in order to find out what was going to happen' -- Elizabeth Brooks I read Three Hours in two days, in awe. It's breathtaking. A modern rumination on the issues that divide 21st century life, a celebration of refugees, of mental health, of love and hope and bravery. I loved it more than I can say' -- Gillian McAllister Three Hours is about hate crime, but what rings out from its pages - what is likely to stay with you long after you've read that magnificent last line - is love. I wanted to read Three Hours slowly to savour every beautiful word, yet it is so compelling that I couldn't put it down. This one is destined for the best-sellers list, I reckon, and rightly so. It is phenomenal -- Fiona Mitchell Beautifully written, emotionally note-perfect and nail-bitingly tense. It's BRILLIANT -- Tammy Cohen I finished Three Hoursin the wee small hours of this morning. It's mind blowing. I'm still feeling jittery. It's so fast-paced and credible that at times I felt like I was watching rolling news coverage of a real incident where I knew the victims. I had that same pulse-racing, queasy feeling - the same inability to look away. It's a horrifying story but told with such compassion and humanity. A large cast of characters and yet you feel genuinely emotionally engaged with each one... Amazing -- Francesca Jakobi Three Hoursis a brilliant novel - moving, relevant and honest. Rosamund Lupton takes us through the story of a siege in an English school, building on the tension and our emotions as the story speeds to its conclusion. She handles difficult subjects with sensitivity and intelligence, focusing on the heroism of the individual. An exceptional and heartbreaking read -- Jenny Quintana Lupton tells her story with searing beauty and unbearable tension. Exquisite. Compassionate. Painful. Fantastic. A work of powerful imagination that wears its intelligence lightly. Absolutely terrifying and nail-biting. Don't read this if you want to be able to put it down. -- Kate London Three Hours has a voice all of its own. Character and plot leap out at you from the first line. Rosamund Lupton makes you race through the pages with her irresistible storytelling. Impossible to stop until you reach the poignant end! -- Jane Corry I've just finished reading this. Exceptional - so well planned and written. I'm also in awe of Rosamund Lupton -- Sarah Edghill Like Kate Atkinson, Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Rendell * New York Times on 'Sister' * Devastatingly good, and announces the arrival of a truly original talent * Daily Mail on 'Sister' * Three Hours is phenomenal. Absolutely glorious, heart-rending and gripping! -- Gytha Lodge I hardly breathed as I raced through this thriller in which gunmen have laid siege to a school in rural Somerset. It's the very definition of a page-turner... moving and thought-provoking * Good Housekeeping * One of those novels you live rather than merely read * Telegraph * This novel's greatest strength is its moving depiction of the anguishes of parenthood and the wild possibilities of first love * The Times * It is early days, but this could be one of the thrillers of the decade. Intense, horrifying and brilliantly told... If you read only one thriller this year; make it this one: it is that good * Daily Mail * Three Hours intersperses scenes of breath-sucking tension with stirring meditations on human nature. . . The message Lupton's novel delivers is that only love can save us -- Sara Collins * Guardian * The most original and impressive aspect of the novel is its examination of goodness confronted with psychopathic brutality * Literary Review *
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About Rosamund Lupton

Rosamund Lupton is the author of Sister, a BBC Radio 4 'Book at Bedtime', a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller, winner of the Strand Magazine critics award and the Richard and Judy Book Club Readers' Choice Award. Her next two books Afterwards and The Quality of Silence (also a Richard and Judy pick) were Sunday Times bestsellers. Her books have been published in over thirty languages.
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Rating details

12,213 ratings
4.21 out of 5 stars
5 48% (5,813)
4 33% (4,018)
3 14% (1,706)
2 4% (459)
1 2% (217)
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