20 Minutes on the Tube series by Daniel Hurst

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If you’re looking for a fast-paced miniseries based in reality, then the 20 Minute Series by Daniel Hurst is for you. 20 chapters track 20 ordinary people in 20-minute segments. The first book in the contemporary fiction series revolves around the infamous London tube and follows typical everyday people as they make their commute, their escape, or even their death.

20 Minutes on the Tube (Book one)

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Disclosure: I am part of an affiliate program which means that I may earn a small commission if you purchase through my affiliate links at no additional cost to you.

Genre: Contemporary fiction | Psychological thriller
Published: 9 February 2020
Pages: 209 (Paperback)
Published: Independently

For those who love to people-watch

I don’t know about you, but when I’m out in public, I’m a self-confessed, not-very-discreet people watcher. I love trying to guess people’s backstories or figure out their journey’s. My guess is that the author has a habit of doing this too – so much so, he decided to write not just one, but 20 books following the same premise.

In 20 Minutes on the Tube, we meet characters like Jelena, a Serbian woman held against her will, and Harry, a schoolboy who is making the terrifying journey to meet his father for the first time. We’ve also got a man planning to be a serial killer, a blind guitarist entertaining the morning crowds, and a woman who may or may not be carrying her boss’s baby.

Content warnings: Expect themes of racism, sex trafficking, kidnap, adultery, revenge, suicide, rape, drug use, and terrorism.

Character-driven that leaves you wanting more

⁣⁣The brief insight into each person is just enough to spark some intrigue before moving on. Many characters are connected in some way, which extends the narrative and feeds us extra titbits of information. The book incorporates some very typical British actions which are representative of a large portion of the population. The author squeezes a lot into these short segments but still manages to create strong characterisation that will leave you wanting more.

And more you shall have👇

20 Minutes Later (Book two)

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Contemporary fiction | Psychological thriller
Published: 4 April 2020
Pages: 152 (Kindle)
Published: Independently

What happens next?

20 Minutes Later is the second instalment in this diverse book series. Expect some familiar names as well as some new faces, often intertwined with each other or connected in some way. The book starts with a bang (literally), after an explosion occurs on one of the estates. From there, we meet an emergency call handler, the first target of the serial killer from book one, and a woman suffering the after effects of witnessing a tube suicide.

A pager-turner from the get-go

I think I liked this one even more than the first, as the action was fast-paced, the characters felt more connected, and it was good to learn more about the previous characters that featured. The short chapters made it easy to devour, and again, the 20-minute segments were just enough to get intrigued without feeling too invested.

There was a diverse range of characters and experiences, and I think the book brilliantly captures the seemingly average day-to-day city life which turns out to not always be so ordinary.

Content warnings: This book contains themes of physical abuse, trafficking, cancer, violent murder, fire, rape, post-traumatic stress, and anxiety.

20 Minutes in the Park (Book three)

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Contemporary fiction | Psychological thriller
Published: 30 May 2020
Pages: 155 (Kindle)
Published: Independently

One month later

Book three of the 20 Minutes series is set a month after it’s predecessor and takes part in and around London’s sprawling Hyde Park. In the midst of a music festival, we see a drug dealer dealing, an elderly man walking his dog, a homeless girl who regrets her mistakes, and a man Jelena recognises from her days as a trafficked sex worker.

As always, the short character segments provide just enough background to get us invested before moving onto the next person. The connections between characters were cleverly crafted, with plenty of scope for expansion in later series.

Content warnings in this book include trafficking, rape, violence, drugs, murder, and homelessness.

Binge-worthy books

Keen to read more? As far as I know, the author is set to release one new book a month. I will be sure to share with you as soon as I see them, and review once I’ve caught up myself. Here are the rest of the eBooks to date with links to buy from Amazon:

4 thoughts on “20 Minutes on the Tube series by Daniel Hurst

  1. Wow! This sounds like such a compelling premise! I’d not encountered this series before, so thank you for introducing me to it, I’m very keen to check it out!


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