The Clock Strikes Midnight

The Clock Strikes Midnight

by Joan Curtis

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Overview

The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan Curtis

Janie Knox wants nothing more than to live her life quietly in Savannah, Georgia and never return to her hometown of Atlanta. At age 17, a week after a jury convicted her stepfather of killing her mother, she packed all her worldly possessions in a single duffle bag, hopped on a bus, and vowed never to return. But, when she learns that she's got a few months to live, she journeys back home to finish what she couldn't do when she left--kill her stepfather.

As the clock ticks away, Janie uses the last days of her life to right the wrongs that have haunted her for 20 years. She faces more than she bargained for when she discovers her sister's life in shambles. Meanwhile, her stepfather, recently released from prison, blackmails the sisters and plots to extract millions from the state in retribution.

The Clock Strikes Midnight is a race against time in a quest for revenge and atonement. This is a story about unleashing the hidden truths that haunt a quiet Southern family.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781771277433
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Publication date: 08/16/2015
Pages: 300
Sales rank: 834,400
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.67(d)

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The Clock Strikes Midnight 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
RochelleRosesandThorns More than 1 year ago
When Janie Knox left Atlanta, she didn’t say goodbye and everyone there thought she never looked back. That wasn’t true. While she led a quiet, successful life in Savannah, Janie never forgot the events leading up to the day her and her sister’s lives were shattered by their mother’s death—or the man responsible. When she finds she has only three months to live, she knows she has to exact her revenge, and repair the shattered relationships she left behind. The Clock Strikes Midnight is the story of two generations of Atlanta women and the demons that drive them. It’s the tragedy of basing one’s self-esteem on being the prettiest girl in school, and what happens when your life peaks at sixteen—and crashes at seventeen. It’s the tragedy of losing a loving father at a young age, and of living with an abusive stepfather. And it’s a tale of revenge and of amends. Most importantly, it’s skillfully woven with deeply-drawn characters. Some will tug at your heart-strings, and others will make you want to wash your hands a couple of times when you put down the book. By all means buy The Clock Strikes Midnight.
NikiMattes More than 1 year ago
When Janie Knox finds out she has three months to  live, she knows it is time, time to go back home and face her mother's killer and get her revenge. Janie had hidden the truth about her family and her mother's passing for so long. She seeks revenge but needs her sister's help. However her sister has problems and on top of that she finds out her mother's killer gets out of jail. Will she be able to unravel what happened twenty years ago? Great book well written, many twists, great characters, good thrilling story, can't wait to read more from this Author. I received a free copy of this book, in exchange for a honest review.
UndercoverBookReviews More than 1 year ago
I had to actually sit and think on just how I wanted this review to go. And it boils down to you just really have to read this book! The way it's set, the characters, the whole book in general will have you on a roller coaster ride to say the least! I won't to spoil the whole book for you but as always, I feel that just cheats the next reader, so...with saying that... PICK THIS BOOK UP!!!! *Received for an honest review*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've ever read by Joan Curtis and I've gotta say I'm a huge fan! I don't normally read books like this so I was a little nervous going into it. I really shouldn't have been! I was hooked after the first chapter. One of the reasons I don't normally like these kinds of books is because I tend to get confused with the lack of information in an attempt to keep the mystery going. Not with this one. I'm not one to really talk about writing styles in my reviews, but I felt like the book was written in a way that not only made it easy for me to follow, but that actually drew me in.  I loved Janie character and was constantly trying to figure out what secrets she was keeping even from us readers. My heart broke for Marlene. Having just gone through a divorce I felt like I had an instant connection with her. While I didn't use the methods she did to cope with my pain, I definitively felt for her and her struggles. I loved that the middle of the book gave us a glimpse into the life of their Mother. It was something I wasn't expecting and really enjoyed. Great book!
Ginas-Library More than 1 year ago
I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.  Every family has secrets. They either come out one way or another or they drive you crazy and ruin your happiness. Janie and Marley were happy healthy children until the death of their father. They were then raised by their mother and unsavory stepfather. Things were never the same again.  Janie comes back to town to find her sister and take care of that stepfather once and for all. This is a very fast moving story that grabs your attention from the very first page.  I highly recommend this book. 
AuthorsWebTVHost More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Curtis has developed her characters so well, I felt I was part of the family. The twists and turns in the plot kept me awake, reading way past sleep time, but I couldn't put it down. Very well written with very interesting characters, and more "I must know what happens on the next page," than any book I've read in a long time.
Bookworm_Babblings More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. Janie and Marly had a happy childhood, that is, until the tragic car accident that took their father away from them.  That's when their lives were forever changed. Janie Knox spent most of her life running away from her past.  But when her doctor diagnoses her with inoperable cancer, Janie drops everything and returns to her hometown of Atlanta to tie up loose ends.  Her family is surprised to see her, she had left after her stepfather was convicted of murdering her mother, planning never to return.  She had basically abandoned her sister and never kept in touch. When she arrives in Atlanta, she reaches out to her sister.  Not only is she not greeted warmly by Marly, but Janie can see that she's clearly drunk.  Marly tells her that their stepfather was released from prison two weeks earlier and he's been harassing her for information on the night of the murder.  The night she still doesn't remember anything about.  The part that upsets them both the most is that Ralph has taken up residence in the old house; their dead mother's home. As Janie keeps her illness secret, she sticks to her plan to put things in order; she also becomes determined to exact revenge on the man she feels responsible for her mother's demise. As The Clock Strikes Midnight is a gripping suspense novel that has you at the edge of your seat the entire time.  My heart broke for both Marly and Janie as the story of their past began to unfold.  Some of it hit home and i found myself tearing up a bit.  Madly and Janie could easily be a friend or even a neighbor, this was a story about family secrets and how they can destroy us.
Maggie-Thom More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book. It’s really a heart-wrenching story of two sisters clinging together as children, torn apart as teenagers and trying to find their way back to each other as adults. Janie and Marlene are each running from a past that haunts them. They’ve each chosen different ways that ultimately hurts the other. Janie and Marlene’s struggle of wanting to get back at someone who has hurt them vs just wanting to forget it and make it go away is something I think many will be able to relate to. It weaves their past in with their present so you get a really good idea of how they got to where they are. The characters throughout this story are well crafted, believable and will pull you into their world – good or bad. Janie, Marlene, Ralph, Thelma… are all people you understand but won’t necessarily like them or the choices they make but they will remind you of people in your life or people you’ve heard of, they are so real. I think the author did a great job of not only pulling us into Janie’s and Marlene’s struggle but how guilt, lies and deceit just eat at you with age. This is a compelling read that once I started I couldn’t put it down. Well done, Ms. Curtis. I definitely recommend it.
histgirl More than 1 year ago
The Clock Strikes Midnight is a well-written and fascinating story with plenty of twists and revelations that will have your mind wondering what’s next while questioning what has been revealed. Joan C. Curtis presents an entertaining and dramatic journey into the lives of two sisters with a tragic and complicated past that they wish they could forget but can’t move beyond.   Warning there are some sensitive topics that are discussed in the storyline involving things pertaining to sexual abuse, abortion, and post partum depression.  Janie has been diagnosed with Cancer and her doctor has given her 3 months to live. With the reality of death on the horizon Janie decides it’s time to deal with her past and put some things she’s been putting off in order.  She has a list she needs to complete before her time runs out and that means she needs to go back home to Atlanta to face her demons, to face her stepfather Ralph who killed her mother. It’s been 20 years since she ran away from Atlanta leaving her past behind her but she has a plan. Once she’s back home she ‘s going to contact her sister Marlene and convince her estranged older sister that it’s in both their best interests if they work together. However, Janie’s plan doesn’t go as smooth as she thought it would. Marlene isn’t exactly in a good place. She’s harboring anger and bitterness over Janie disappearing on her 20 years ago, her marriage is in shambles and she’s turning into a depressive and angry alcoholic like their mother.  Most of the characters in the story aren’t exactly likeable nor are they perfect.  They make mistakes and do some rather selfish things but it’s their raw and relatable imperfections that make them compelling and as a reader I couldn’t help but want to delve deeper into the psychology of each character and pick away at their misguided attempts. I was won over by Marlene and Janie’s determination and inner strength. The two are complex characters with layer upon layer of secrets and emotions that once pulled back reveal moments in their childhood that shaped them as adults. I don’t want to reveal too much of what happens so I don’t take away from the insights and nuances that build up the mysterious reasons behind Janie’s plans.  The storyline transitions between the past and the present and between different points of view from Janie’s perspective, to Marlene’s, to their mother Eloise who as a teenager went through something that would one day shape Marlene and Janie’s future. The transitioning was done smoothly and in a way that allowed the story to reveal itself in a gripping manner adding to the intensity of the plot. The book was suspenseful and dramatic with touches of loss, tragedy, adversity, love and family unity.  Copy provided for review. Reviewed by Joy for Crystal's Many Reviewers
badkat17us More than 1 year ago
This book was different from my normal read but well worth it. It is a story about closure and how finding out you don’t have as long to live as you once though changes your way of thinking. Things you have wanted to do you suddenly need to do. Sometimes those things are more important than finishing a bucket list. Things like making sure the person who tormented you and your sister is punished and the truth comes to life. Janie left Atlanta after her mother died and hasn’t been back since. She has come back now to finish some things. She found she is sick and doesn’t have much time she is determined to put an end to things. She hopes that her sister will help her. This story is not a pretty one. Janie and her sister had some good times with their mother but not many. They both loved their father dearly but he died years before their mother. They both dealt with the horrors of their step-father. They never knew why their mother even married him. She didn’t like him at all and seemed to hate him at times. When Janie comes back its harder that she could have imagined. The people in present don’t know about her past and the people from her past know nothing about her present. Janie keeps everything very close to her chest. This story had lots of twists and turns. It kept me interested and wanting to find out what happened next. Some parts of the book were sad. It brings out the point that you never really know someone. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from this author. The characters were well written and kept you wanting to find more out about them. Once again this is not a story of sun shine and roses but one of heart breaking truths. Life isn’t always happy and full of love sometimes people are dealt a bad hand and have to find a way through. Sometimes they can’t find a way through but feel they need to end it. Very emotional book. I was given this book in return for an honest review.
ReadersFavorite3 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis is a tale of revenge and of putting things right, a story of hidden truths. Janie Knox wants to live her life quietly in Savannah with her life-partner Sue-Anne. Twenty years earlier, following the imprisonment of her stepfather for killing her mother, she packed up and left without a word to anyone and never spoke to her family again. A diagnosis of breast cancer, giving her just 3 months to live, changes all that and she heads back to put right the things that have haunted her. She discovers her sister is an alcoholic and her stepfather has been released from prison. He starts trying to blackmail both sisters and is looking to sue the government for millions for wrongful imprisonment. In a bitter race against time, Janie rushes to stop him and tie up loose ends before she departs for higher planes. The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis is an amazing story with a number of twists cleverly hidden away. It was gripping and, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t have guessed the ending if I tried. It’s a bittersweet story, full of love, laughter and tragedy, one that will have any reader on the edge of their seat, biting their nails as the story roars to its conclusion. Joan Curtis has done a wonderful job here, the story is gripping enough to keep you reading and the characters are a perfect fit. I look forward to reading more from Joan Curtis in the future.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis is the story of two sisters, Janie and Marlene, and the story of a long ago murder. The girls had a hard childhood with a mean and abusive step-father who was accused of killing their drunken mother. Janie leaves her home at the age of 17; Marlene remains in Atlanta for her entire life. Over twenty years have passed since the sisters have had any communication. Janie has just been diagnosed with cancer and has only three months to live. She decides it is time to go home and set things straight with her sister and explain what really happened the day her mother was killed. Marlene is more like her mother than she would like to admit and uses alcohol to escape her everyday life. When their step-father is released from prison, he is still trying to prove his innocence, but both sisters confront him and try to make him go away. This is when the real trouble begins.  Joan Curtis has done a perfect writing job. The Clock Strikes Midnight has murder, love, hate and family troubles perfectly combined to make it a top seller. The Clock Strikes Midnight kept me reading late into the night and again early in the morning until I reached the end and left behind my new friends, Janie and Marlene. Joan C. Curtis has a winner that is a five star hit. If you enjoy a good mystery, I think you will really like The Clock Strikes Midnight.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers' Favorite The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis introduces us to Janie Knox who wants nothing more than to live her life in Savannah, Georgia, without any drama. She never wants to go back to where she was born and raised -  Atlanta. She left that place at the age of 17 when her step dad went to jail for killing her mom. When she is told she has only three months left to live, however, she goes home because she is going to kill her step dad. Tick tock goes the clock and Janie and her sister end up in a situation against their step dad they never thought would happen. This was a very intense read for me. I could not imagine being Janie. I have had a step dad and step mom and I have no idea what I would do if either of them had harmed my parent. I might react in the same way Janie does and want some revenge. I might not, but this story truly ticks all the right boxes that you want to see in a novel. Every page was full of interesting content and I found I could not set it down. There are some big family secrets and surprising twists. Joan C. Curtis has put a lot of love and effort into this book and it shows in the way the story comes to life before your eyes. If you love a good mystery and a tale that is far more then just vengeance, you will enjoy this story. I would recommend it to all mystery lovers.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Jeffrey Brooke-Stewart for Readers' Favorite With The Clock Strikes Midnight, Joan Curtis has written a true page-turner. The plot follows a successful business woman named Janie as she takes a journey back over her life. The diagnosis of terminal cancer (given on the opening page, so no plot spoiler there) rouses Janie's determination to take care of an unfinished issue from an early period in her life. The story begins in Savannah, Georgia, but quickly moves to Atlanta where the author deftly describes the contrasts of various parts of that city.  Joan Curtis takes the reader through Janie's life story and that of the previous generation. The characters of her family and friends are developed with sensitivity, even though some of them are very unattractive. Central to the plot is an understanding of Janie's family - her mother, step-father and her sister, in particular.  In the process, the author describes Janie's determination and her progress towards settling the old issue before the cancer causes her death. Exactly what that issue is does not become clear until the final pages. But it becomes obvious that it involves the murder of Janie's mother by her step-father, Ralph. Ralph's plea of innocence only adds to the uncertainty and suspense.  On a number of occasions, the reader may anticipate the ending, but each time a new variable is introduced to maintain the uncertainty and tension! The result is a fast-moving suspense-filled yarn. Those who like a good mystery story will enjoy this book.
mares97 More than 1 year ago
If you like suspense and a great storyline, this book is for you. The Clock Strikes Midnight is riveting with a mix of relationships, family drama and murder all rolled into one. You get immersed in not only the plot, but each character’s set of issues and lives as well. Joan Curtis does a great job of drawing the reader in and having you get emotionally attached. There are surprises and twists that keep you guessing and leave you wanting more. This is a book you won’t be able to put down as it definitely holds your attention.
RabidReaderReviews More than 1 year ago
There is a feeling of the great southern author, Fannie Flagg, in The Clock Strikes Midnight. Janie is living in Savannah with her partner running a successful business when she gets terrible medical news. The clock is now ticking for her to finish business relating to her mother’s murder and the recent release from prison of her stepfather, the man convicted of killing Janie’s mother. Janie’s sister, Marlene, stayed in Atlanta after the murder. She married and built friendships and tried very hard not to be the girl whose suffered such a painful and violent loss. The Clock Strikes Midnight is a complex story that transcends generations. For much of the novel we know that Janie has a secret about her mother’s death. That perhaps she knew more than she ever told the court or her sister. Early on we learn what Marlene knew and never saw the need to say but Janie’s secret is more mysterious and is the driving force behind her return. Curtis’ writing plays well to maintaining the suspense of this long held secret. The smooth execution of the well-planned plot line never had me wishing she’d just get to the point. The sub-plot featuring Ralph Cooper, the husband jailed for murdering his wife, is well written.  The setting is very much the American South. This story could not take place anywhere else. When you live in the south and move somewhere else there is only one goal, to return one day. That Janie would find the people she needs so easier and that the people looking for her would find her, struck me as very authentic. I really enjoyed The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis. It’s a story of the love of children for a parent, loss, dealing with adversity and trying to rise above. It’s a story of how our past frames us and asks the question if we can change our future. The Clock Strikes Midnight is an American drama with a southern flare. If you like Fannie Flagg, Melissa Foster or Jodi Picoult, purchase this wonderful work of fiction today.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Clock Strikes Midnight is a very well written mystery spiced with suspense. It is tightly constructed and the characters are fully developed and richly described. The relationship between the two sisters is wickedly true-to-life, vacillating between love and hate. Having lived most of my life in Georgia, I can attest that Joan Curtis has the ambiance down perfectly. The plot kept my interest from beginning to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a page turner! I thought the characters were very well developed. As a native Atlantan, The author's mentions of places, parts of town and businesses I knew made the book doubly meaningful to me. Great beach or plane read, for sure.
Matthew_Peters More than 1 year ago
The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan Curtis tells the story of Jamie Knox, a young woman with only three months to live, who sets out to right the wrongs of her traumatic childhood. When her stepfather is released from prison for killing her mother Jamie returns to her hometown of Atlanta, and reenters the lives of her sister, Marlene, and her Aunt Sarah. What follows is a race against time and an attempt to prevent the stepfather from clearing his name for the crime.  The Clock Strikes Midnight is particularly notable for the strength of its characters. Curtis reveals the information slowly and carefully, leading us to turn the pages to discover the truth. In one of the strongest sections of the book, we go back in time to experience the mother’s life through her eyes. The issues of alcoholism, teen pregnancy, and child abuse are dealt with in a realistic and sensitive manner, lending credence and viability to the characters’ experiences. Truthfully, I like my murder mysteries with a little more murder and a little more mystery, but this is still a strong showing. At the end the reader emerges satisfied and glad they have spent time with Ms. Curtis’s mystery.