⇒RELEASE DAY REVIEW! “What if a single 29 second phone call could change your life forever?” -29 Seconds ⇐
**Many thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and the author for the opportunity to read a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Author: T.M. Logan
(4.04 stars – Goodreads rating)
Genre: Fiction / Suspense / Thriller
U.S. Publication Date: September 10, 2019, by St. Martin’s Press
Pages: 356 (Kindle version)
If she said no, the offer disappeared. Forever. And if she said yes, there was no going back. No changing her mind.
Bullies. You may have dealt with them in school or you may be dealing with them now at work. Maybe there’s one in your gym or – gasp! – in your book club! If you’ve managed to live your whole life up to this point and not be affected by some of the most heinous, manipulative, bossy, dangerous people on planet Earth, then I salute you (and I want to know what cave you’re living in because you must be quite the introvert!).
In this book, Sarah is vexed by a bully. But oh, my friends, that is a very dumbed-down and simplified version of what is taking place in her life and the lives of others around her. And we don’t have to look too far away from our own phones and TVs to see glaring real-life examples (and one in particular) of the type of man our main character is being harassed by. But Sarah’s story is about so much more than harassment. Let’s check out the blurb:
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?
Perhaps sometimes in life, an impossible situation required an unthinkable solution.
Let’s be honest with each other, OK? When you read the blurb, did you come up with a name? That one person that just grates your last nerve, or the one that sets your teeth on edge – is that the name you thought of? I couldn’t think of one. I’m not trying to be Miss Goody-two-shoes; I just honestly couldn’t think of anyone that I despise enough to wish that they’d “disappear”. Did I just get kudos points in Heaven? One can dream…
OK, so Sarah pulls off a good deed by being an upstanding citizen (or very nosy neighbor – you decide), and her reward seems more like a punishment. But like Sarah, you never know what you would do irl with your back pushed against the wall. Did I agree with all of her decisions? Not by a long shot. But was I committed to watching this train wreck that Sarah was conducting? ‘Til the very last wheel came off the track.
You don’t have to go into the lion’s den.
First, Alan Hawthorne is an absolute monster. It says a lot about an author when he or she can make you absolutely hate one of their characters, and Logan clearly has that gift. Hawthorne is despicable, the worst imitation of a human being, and I wanted to rip his head off and spit down his neck! Too much? Maybe so, but maybe not after you read this book. 29 Seconds is about the seemingly mighty preying on the vulnerable weak, but it’s also about finding strength of will in impossible situations. Gotta say it… where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Suspense, suspense, suspense! 29 Seconds has plenty of it. These are characters in 3D that you will sympathize with, angrily criticize, fear, wish dead, and want to go give a comforting hug. This book made me run the gamut of emotions – and that, readers, is all we ever ask any author to do for us. Logan delivers an important message wrapped in thrills and tense action that will leave your mouth hanging open on more than one occasion. No really, you could have flown the Goodyear Blimp down my throat at the end of Part II.
If you love a great, fast-paced thriller where the stakes are high and virtue is cloudy, this is gonna be your jam! I only knocked off half a star because I had a few lingering questions at the end that weren’t fully resolved by the “epilogue”. But those aren’t deal-breakers, and 29 Seconds is definitely worth the read. My only remaining question is… When is the movie release?
29 Seconds is available in the US today, September 10, 2019 at any of the following retail stores:
And be on the lookout for his next U.S. release, The Vacation, in July 2020!
Bestselling author TM Logan was a national newspaper journalist before turning to novel-writing full time. His debut thriller Lies was one of Amazon UK’s biggest ebooks of 2017, winning a Silver Award at the Nielsen Bestseller Awards. -Bio adapted from TMLogan.com