Eleanor Updale is an intelligent, imaginative and beguiling writer and I have enjoyed all her books. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with her a couple of times and that’s been a joy. This is my favourite of her books and I was delighted to be able to introduce others to it in The Scotsman.
Right from the Prologue of The Last Minute the reader knows that an explosion has taken place on Heathwick High Street. The rest of the novel recounts the events of the minute before the explosion. We are introduced to a diverse selection of people and competing explanations for the coming explosion with a creeping sense of horror for what lies in wait. In a few sentences Eleanor Updale makes us care about the characters’ fate and hope passionately that our favourites will be spared. I found myself willing some of them to move more or less quickly to ensure their survival. This is an outstanding novel for mature readers of any age and adds lustre to Eleanor Updale’s established brilliance.