PUBLICATION DATE: MAY 1, 2012
or over 60 years the Seven have worked together, initially as criminals and later as loosely related business associates. Their leader Alton Webber held the group together and though each is free to pursue their own careers, when he calls, they all come. Now Alton’s time is up; he is dying of cancer and within hours of death. He once again summons all of them together with the intent to manipulate time and cheat death. Unable to participate in this great scheme, it’s left to Ian Brandt to lead the Seven in capturing Thomas Constant and holding him (or tormenting if necessary) until they are granted immortality. Unbeknownst to any of them, Constant is quite elusive and their plan might be based on incomplete information. In the final installment of the 7 Hours series, The Last Night of Alton Webber is a fantastic conclusion to a unique and remarkable novella collection.
You’d think by now I’d quit coming into a Robin Parrish novel with certain expectations. He’s proven time and again to expect something different with each book. However, I did think it was safe to assume, that given The Last Night of Alton Webber is a novella (i.e. short) that it would have a single story line and most likely a single location with few characters. Yet again I was proven incorrect. Instead of a single storyline in the present, it alternates between current events and the past. There are eight major characters and it spans over 70 years. Given the flashbacks to numerous events in these characters lives, it also takes place in numerous locations. Not at all what I expected from a short novella when Parrish has remained within a much tighter focus for 300 pages novels. Guess I’ll never learn. J
While I have enjoyed each book in this series, I do think this one is my favorite. It’s very different than the previous six and it’s for a good reason. Though each novella is standalone, if read as a series this one makes for a perfect conclusion. For the first time, this story turns the table on Constant and instead of being in complete control, it appears as though the Seven have control of him. Additionally it brings out a different angle to the storyline, one that I won’t spoil for the reader, but definitely adds a great twist. I encourage everyone to purchase the complete collection, but if only planning to read one or a few, without a doubt include this novella and read it last.
The heart of this series has been second chances, what each character does with that second chance, and how those extra seven hours changes their lives and the lives of those around them. This theme is continued, but given the structure of this story, until the end, it’s not completely clear how this second chance is achieved. This change makes the story even more intriguing as the reader is conscious of the ticking clock as the number of pages dwindle.
With the taunt suspense, gripping story, and unique twists, The Last Night of Alton Webber is a fantastic conclusion to this series. In case my love of the 7 Hours series has been missed prior to now, let me reiterate, this is an excellent collection. The idea started by James Andrew Wilson is well executed by each participating author and I definitely recommend readers taking the time to pick up these novellas and give them a try.