Book Review: Just Before Midnight

20 Dec

jbm-final_Christmas Eve is the time to be at home enjoying the warmth and laughter of family, isn’t it? A couple in their late 60s faces the prospects of a first ever Christmas with no kids or grandkids in the house … An emergency room nurse handles every crisis at work with calm, but inside her emotions are roiling because she can’t get hold of her husband or her youngest son … Over the past two years he has lost his job, his house, his wife, and it feels like his kids are slipping away … Her first baby is scheduled to arrive in a few weeks, but with her husband still on duty in Afghanistan, she’s never felt so alone in all her life … Four individuals and families are trying so hard to grab hold of the spirit of Christmas that they can’t see they are about to run headlong into each other … just before midnight.


markMark Gilroy is the author of the #1 bestselling Kristen Conner Mystery Series. A veteran of the book publishing industry, he has packed boxes, served as executive vp and publisher over companies, edited manuscripts, made sales calls, created marketing plans, directed design and illustration, started companies, agented for authors, written award-winning video, and created advertising and catalog copy. He’s authored, edited, compiled, published, and ghost written books that have landed on an array of bestsellers lists, working with some of the biggest series and authors in the industry. He and wife Amy recently became empty nesters with the youngest of six off to college. They reside in Brentwood, Tennessee.

My Impressions:

Just Before Midnight, a Christmas novella by Mark Gilroy, was the December pick for By The Book. We met two nights ago to discuss the book. The consensus: it was okay. I think our biggest problem with the book was that it was novella length. It left us wanting more – more characterization, more detail in the plot, and most importantly, more story. We wanted to know what happens to the characters! If this book had been a full blown novel, we would have enjoyed it more.

There are four story lines in Just Before Midnight – an empty-nest couple experiencing a Christmas on their own, a young pregnant woman with a husband in Afghanistan, a down and out dad trying to rebuild his life and a nurse with a troubled teenager and out of work husband. All four story lines count down until they intersect right before midnight on Christmas Eve.

The characters’ stories are compelling. They all have worries and fears that they are facing. They all are going into a Christmas with uncertainty. The novella is fast-paced with twists and turns. And the story has a happy and unexpected ending. All pluses for our group. We just needed more! I guess that is good. We would love Just Before Midnight to be reworked into a novel.

If you can manage to squeeze some reading in before your own Christmas celebration, we really do recommend Just Before Midnight. Just know, you may want more!


Audience: Adults.

(I purchased this book for my Kindle. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.

One Response to “Book Review: Just Before Midnight”

  1. M E Cheshier December 20, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    Reblogged this on Book Reviews Current and commented:
    Great review

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