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Six Minutes

It took just six minutes for Bella to simply vanish. No one saw her go; she had simply gone; gone from the playgroup in the time it took her mother Lexi to go to the shop for biscuits. Just gone!

In Six Minutes Petronella McGovern pars back the terrifying layers of child abduction, the very real damage social media and trial by media can inflict and the terrible emotional cost and damage to lives caused by these horrifying crimes.

Lexi and husband Marty have moved to the outer Canberra suburb of Merrigang where they are rebuilding their lives; lives that have already been affected by the sad loss of their first-born child. Lexi has always been overly careful to keep Bella in her sight at all time, except for this one morning where she felt Bella would be safe as she would only be gone a short time. She was wrong.

Each of the parents at playgroup on that terrible day find themselves under intense police investigation, their lives laid bare as the days crawl slowly forward with no sign of the missing child and even less of an idea about what happened.

McGovern lays bare the ugly role played out by both the media and social media, which while appearing to help and support the search, is doing anything but, creating a climate of fear, hatred and distraction.

Lives and relationships are destroyed, everyone in the small town is under suspicion, encased in fear and once again the lives of Lexi and Marty are placed in the glaring light of the media.

Riveting and emotionally challenging, McGovern has drawn together people’s fascination with unsolved crimes, their desire ‘to solve the case’ and the terrible burden that is placed on everyone involved in any unsolved crime, by the public’s fascination and obsession with social media.

Impossible to put down, this is a brilliant debut novel from a writer who certainly understands how to craft a work full of intrigue to keep the reader guessing until the very end!

AuthorPetronella McGovern
PublisherAllen and Unwin
DistributorAllen and Unwin
ReleasedJuly 2019