Cheryl Peyton has a powerful ability to paint a picture with words. Six Minutes to Midnight tells the story of federal agents, charged with the secure transport of nuclear weapons, and a sociopath bent on wreaking havoc on a variety of real and imagined tormentors.
The characters are wonderful, and the best part of this thrilling story. I was particularly impressed with Albert, the primary antagonist. He’s so perfect as a bad guy that you find yourself intensely hating him early in the book. That sentiment doesn’t let up. It grows. The mania he displays is completely believable thanks to a comprehensive, three-dimensional portrait Peyton crafts along the way.
I also liked Henry, who Albert recruits as an accomplice. Henry is wonderfully quirky and borderline insane, but a lot of fun.
Dana, the main protagonist, is also very well done. She comes across just as solid and believable in her role as an agent for good as Albert does in his role as a veritable demon.
The story moves swiftly and is packed with lots of action and well-researched detail. You will want to reserve a nice chunk of your day to read the last fourth or so of the book as it climbs to its thrilling conclusion. You might not be able to put it down during that part. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from Cheryl Peyton.
Note to parents: Six Minutes to Midnight is meant for adult audiences. There is a fair amount of profanity sprinkled around in it. None of it is gratuitous and it fits the personality and demeanor of the character responsible for 90% of it, but it’s there – including some “F-bombs” and the “g—d----” thing. It’s not excessive, but I would not recommend the book for kids. There are also some scenes with violence and one with a sexual assault. Again – not gratuitous. These scenes are essential to the storyline. I just always feel obligated to mention things like this in reviews so that parents can make informed decisions about reading material for their kids.