The Last Minute takes place in Heathwick town centre, before an explosion rips the place apart, killing 65. Each second is a gradual build-up, adding to the tension of the final event. What will be the cause of the devastation and who will be its victims?
Needless to say, with a death-toll of 65, this really is a cast of thousands and you'd need to read the book in pretty much one sitting to keep a track of who everyone is. This also made it impossible to go into any depth with the characterisations, although Ms Updale did manage to produce several characters about whom I was more concerned than others, and then there were also the two magnificent carriage-horses.
At the end of the book is the newspaper reportage of the explosion, which was impossible to read on the Kindle, but there is an on-line site where it is possible to see this: http://www.eleanorupdale.com/minute/ This also completes the book by discussing the possible cause of the explosion(s).
For me, this was a clever idea that, unfortunately, didn't quite work, by the time I'd read sixty sets of one second events, I'd lost interest and certainly wasn't getting tense at the inevitable outcome.