29 Seconds by T.M. Logan
Published by St. Martin’s Press on September 3, 2019 (expected)
Genre(s): fiction, thriller
Format & Length: e-book, 368
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From the bestselling author of LIES comes 29 SECONDS, a sensational new thriller that explores what happens when a split second thought of revenge takes on a life of its own.
“Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear.”
Sarah is a young professor struggling to prove herself in a workplace controlled by the charming and manipulative Alan Hawthorne, a renowned scholar and television host. The beloved professor rakes in million-dollar grants for the university where Sarah works—so his inappropriate treatment of female colleagues behind closed doors has gone unchallenged for years. And Sarah is his newest target.
When Hawthorne’s advances become threatening, she’s left with nowhere to turn. Until the night she witnesses an attempted kidnapping of a young child on her drive home, and impulsively jumps in to intervene. The child’s father turns out to be a successful businessman with dangerous connections—and her act of bravery has put this powerful man in her debt. He lives by his own brutal code, and all debts must be repaid. In the only way he knows how. The man gives Sarah a burner phone and an unbelievable offer. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that can make all her problems disappear.
No consequences. No traces. No chance of being found out. All it takes is a 29-second phone call.
Because everyone has a name to give. Don’t they?
After thoroughly enjoying T.M. Logan’s debut novel, Lies, I was excited to discover he was publishing a second book and to have the chance to read an early copy. And 29 Seconds lived up to my expectations!
Unlike many other thrillers I’ve read recently that rely on multiple perspectives and/or timelines to build tension and suspense, this book follows one woman in a straight narrative in a way that has plenty of thrills. The plot is one that requires some suspension of disbelief, but it does move along at a fast pace and presents twists exactly at the right moments. And the author’s writing style works well for this type of story, flowing well and making for easy reading.
Upon completing 29 Seconds, I still had a few questions that weren’t fully answered. The ending felt a bit too abrupt, leaving a couple loose threads that I wanted to see tied up to feel the closure I like in a book. That being said, I liked the choice of the final plot twist and how it fit with the rest of the story. And the themes of sexual harassment and privilege that are explored throughout the book are certainly relevant, adding some extra depth to what could otherwise be a superficial thriller.
In the end, 29 Seconds was a taut, intense, and entertaining thriller that I’d definitely recommend to fans of this genre. And I, for one, am looking forward to see what this author does next!
*Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc of this edition via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.