Eleven Hours

On the eve of giving birth to her third child, Didi Wood goes to the mall to escape the Dallas heat and do a little shopping. She is supposed to meet her husband for lunch in an hour, but a chance encounter with a stranger changes everything.

When Didi does not show up, Richard Wood first gets worried, then anxious, then frantic. And with good reason. His pregnant wife seems to have vanished off the face of the earth.

As the FBI joins Richard in a desperate search for his wife and unborn child, Didi’s terrifying eleven-hour ride takes her to the brink of all endurance and puts her on a collision course with fate itself.

With Eleven Hours, Paullina Simons has created a new kind of thriller, psychological drama at its best and a suspense-filled journey straight into the heart of darkness.


"Continuing to hone her style, Simons follows the logorrheic Tully and the pensive Red Leaves with a sparely written, blatantly shocking page-turner. Nine months pregnant with her third child, Desdemona (Didi) Wood basks in the adoration of her husband, Rich, national sales manager for a Dallas-based religious publisher. Didi's only sin is that she's a compulsive shopper, blowing her husband's hard-earned cash at a Dallas mall. A nondescript young man approaches Didi inside the mall, then follows her and forces her into his Ford minivan. Terrified, Didi wonders if God is punishing her for not going to church often enough or for being a shopaholic. She soon learns that the kidnapper, Lyle Luft, is enraged at God for allowing his wife and child to die. He wants a baby, and he doesn't care how he gets it. Rich deduces that his missing wife was abducted in the mall parking lot, but police are skeptical until tough black FBI officer Scott Somerville joins the chase. Simons's pacing is pulse-racing as she cuts from the pursuers to the pursued with nightmarish speed, evoking with economy and style Didi's terror, pain and sheer physical discomfort. As the road chase continues, news bulletins about Didi's abduction prompt Lyle into homicidal fury. Once he kills a cop, he has nothing left to lose. Meanwhile, Didi tries to persuade Lyle that he's "acting against God," but it's not surprising that her sermon falls on deaf ears. Despite the blatant overlay of born-again religiosity, the momentum of the chase sustains the narrative, and Simons renders some final stomach-churning scenes of violence with unsparing detail. While the psychological explanation of Lyle's sociopathy is superficial, and Didi's transformation from suburban housewife to tough and cool avenger is less than plausible, the atmosphere of panic never abates until Simons brings her suspenseful tale to a close." Publishers Weekly
"Eleven Hours is a harrowing, hair-raising story that will keep you turning the pages late into the night." —Janet Evanovich, bestselling author of High Five and Four to Score
"Eleven Hours reminded me of Steven Spielberg's Duel -a story with minimalist style and a powerful scare." —Martin Cruz Smith, author of Gorky Park
"Simons does a wonderful job pulling you into the story...it's a ticking time bomb!" —Adrianne Lee, author of Little Girl Lost and Night Terror