Six Minutes: When the worst happens in six minutes

Six Minutes book review

What is this about?: This is about the search for Bella, and the secrets that come out after she goes missing.

What else is this about?: About the secrets friends have, and husbands and wives have as well.


An unputdownable thriller for fans of Liane Moriarty and Caroline Overington. If you were gripped watching The Cry, you’ll be hooked on Six Minutes.

‘Impossible to put down and full of twists and turns you won’t see coming! I loved this fabulous debut novel.’ Liane Moriarty, bestselling author of Nine Perfect Strangers

How can a child disappear from under the care of four playgroup mums?

One Thursday morning, Lexie Parker dashes to the shop for biscuits, leaving Bella in the safe care of the other mums in the playgroup.

Six minutes later, Bella is gone.

Police and media descend on the tiny village of Merrigang on the edge of Canberra. Locals unite to search the dense bushland. But as the investigation continues, relationships start to fracture, online hate messages target Lexie, and the community is engulfed by fear.

Is Bella’s disappearance connected to the angry protests at Parliament House? What secrets are the parents hiding? And why does a local teacher keep a photo of Bella in his lounge-room?

What happened in those six minutes and where is Bella?

The clock is ticking…

This gripping novel will keep you guessing to the very last twist

Six Minutes is pretty terrifying in it’s simplicity, because really anything can happen in six minutes: in this case, Bella disappears while at her playgroup.

It’s the most innocent of events turned awful. When the book opens, it’s clear that Lexie, Bella’s mother, is a helicopter mother for reasons we’re not sure about. But she’s trying not to be — and leaving Bella in the company of her friends and the other mothers at playgroup is a big step for her.

Except six minutes later Bella is gone and Lexie’s worst fears have come true.

Let me just say, those mothers at the playgroup?

Would be the first ones I’d be yelling at.

However, Lexie and her husband Marty are focused on Bella, on searching their town for her while the police are called in. Slowly but surely time ticks by and things grow more dire for finding Bella.

What McGovern does so well is to give pretty much every character a bit of uncertaintyshould readers be trusting them? What are they hiding? And they are all hiding something.

Lexie and Marty have their own secrets — secrets that made them strangers to one another, and Lexie forever hovering over Bella, worried about her every move and everything she does, while Marty wants to save Bella from being suffocated by her mother.

The other mothers in the playgroup have their own issues. Tara who is a bad mommy blogger determined that her financial woes will be saved if she makes it big and gets a book deal, in particular sticks with you. She’s the kind of person who is doing the skeezy thing for the right reason, but it’s still the skeezy thing, and it’s using her friend’s terrible experience to do it.

McGovern excels at peeling back the layers of every character in this book, and building a picture of a small community filled with secrets as they search for this young child.

No one is above suspicion, not even the parents, and that’s what kept me glued to this book.


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