New Review–Sara Jayne Townsend
When she finds out she has three months left to live, Janie Knox returns home #museitup #theclockstrikesmidnight
and faces the past she has spent so long running from, to try and put right some wrongs before it’s too late.
As the story unfolds we learn more about Janie, and her sister Marlene, and the appalling past that has left them so damaged. The book is divided into three parts. The first part alternates between Janie’s point of view and Marlene’s, and reveals how damaged each of them actually is. The second part takes us back to 1969 and the point of view of the two sisters’ mother, Eloise, and the events that led to her becoming the unhappy alcoholic that her daughters knew her as, before her violent death twenty years before the start of the novel. The third part takes us back to Janie and Marlene, and the conclusion of the novel.
Initially neither Janie nor Marlene is a particularly likeable character. Marlene is following her mother onto the slippery path of alcoholism, and Janie appears to have a complete lack of empathy for anyone or anything.
However, the more we learn about them and their sad history, the more we can empathise with them, and by the end of the novel I found myself quite emotionally connected with these two sisters.
Some I saw coming, but I confess that some I did not. This a well-written tale of ordinary people trying to put tragedy behind them and move on with their lives, and you will find that these characters and their story will stay with you long after you finish the book.
New Review–Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto, ReadersFavorite
The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis is the story of two sisters, Janie and Marlene, and the story of a long ago murder. The girls had a hard childhood with a mean and abusive step-father who was accused of killing their drunken mother. Janie leaves her home at the age of 17; Marlene remains in Atlanta for her entire life. Over twenty years have passed since the sisters have had any communication. Janie has just been diagnosed with cancer and has only three months to live. She decides it is time to go home and set things straight with her sister and explain what really happened the day her mother was killed. Marlene is more like her mother than she would like to admit and uses alcohol to escape her everyday life. When their step-father is released from prison, he is still trying to prove his innocence, but both sisters confront him and try to make him go away. This is when the real trouble begins.
Joan Curtis has done a perfect writing job.The Clock Strikes Midnight has murder, love, hate and family troubles perfectly combined to make it a top seller.
The Clock Strikes Midnight kept me reading late into the night and again early in the morning until I reached the end and left behind my new friends, Janie and Marlene.
If you enjoy a good mystery, I think you will really like The Clock Strikes Midnight.
New Review–Reviewed by Stuart R. West
Mrs. Curtis’s book, The Clock Strikes Midnight, is a very compelling, well-written read.While I wouldn’t necessarily categorize it as a mystery, there are plenty of twists and slow burning suspense. But what really grips the reader and won’t let go are the characters. I have to admit they weren’t very likable. But the deeper one goes, peeling back layers of time and events, things become clearer, defining how the two protagonists, siblings Janie and Marlene, ended up the messes they are today. Yep, for several nights I read until the clock struck midnight (and later) to find out what happens. Recommended and I look forward to Mrs. Curtis’s next book.
New Review–Reviewed by Ann Marie Reynolds ReadersFavorite
The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis is a tale of revenge and of putting things right, a story of hidden truths. Janie Knox wants to live her life quietly in Savannah with her life-partner Sue-Anne. Twenty years earlier, following the imprisonment of her stepfather for killing her mother, she packed up and left without a word to anyone and never spoke to her family again. A diagnosis of breast cancer, giving her just 3 months to live, changes all that and she heads back to put right the things that have haunted her. She discovers her sister is an alcoholic and her stepfather has been released from prison. He starts trying to blackmail both sisters and is looking to sue the government for millions for wrongful imprisonment. In a bitter race against time, Janie rushes to stop him and tie up loose ends before she departs for higher planes.
The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis is an amazing story with a number of twists cleverly hidden away. It was gripping and, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t have guessed the ending if I tried. It’s a bittersweet story, full of love, laughter and tragedy, one that will have any reader on the edge of their seat, biting their nails as the story roars to its conclusion. Joan Curtis has done a wonderful job here, the story is gripping enough to keep you reading and the characters are a perfect fit. I look forward to reading more from Joan Curtis in the future.
New Review–Heather Brainerd
When main character Janie learns of her devastating prognosis, she knows she must finish a task she started twenty years prior. This means going back to her home town of Atlanta, a place she’d vowed never to visit again. A lot has changed since she left home, and she finds her sister Marlene in a bad way. As both sisters move through dangerous situations, they learn that they have to face the past – something they’re both tried to bury.
I enjoyed the way the author wove together three points of view – that of Janie, Marlene, and their mother Eloise. There were many twists and turns – with a final surprise that I did not see coming. In fact, I stayed up way too late for two nights in a row because I simply wanted to see what happened next.
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