Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all well. Today I’m posting my review of T.M. Logan’s fantastic psychological thriller, ’29 Seconds’. I really enjoyed this book, and just had to review it in full for you! So, keep reading to discover my thoughts…
Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear . . .
When Sarah rescues a young girl in trouble, she expects nothing in return. But her act of bravery puts a powerful and dangerous man in her debt. He lives by his own brutal code, and all debts must be repaid – in the only way he knows how.
He offers Sarah a way to solve a desperate situation with her intolerable boss. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that will make all her problems disappear.
No consequences. No comeback. 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?
’29 Seconds’ (2018) is T.M. Logan’s second novel, following on from ‘Lies’ (2017). Since then, he has also written ‘The Holiday’ (2019) and ‘The Catch’ (April 2020). Logan was a national newspaper journalist before turning to novel-writing full time. He lives in Nottinghamshire with his wife and two children, and writes in a cabin at the bottom of his garden.
The novel has received positive praise, from the likes of fellow authors such as Liz Lawler: “Prepare for gnashing of teeth and nail biting till the bitter end”, Simon Lelic: “A first-class thriller”, Louise Jenson: “A moral dilemma + a pacy plot = one gripping thriller” and Phoebe Morgan: “An impactful, topical thriller with a plot that provokes emotion whilst keeping you guessing”.
’29 Seconds’ follows the life of Sarah, whose life is being made unbearable by her sleazy boss. When Sarah rescues a young girl one day, a man is insist upon repaying her, and so she makes that 29-second phone call which will change her life forever…
The narrative is told from the third-person perspective throughout, mainly following the character of Sarah. The reader is given a detailed account of her thoughts, feelings and emotions, as well as a distanced reporting of the events as they unfurl. The novel is written in the present-tense throughout, with some allusions to the past. The narrative is really easy to follow, yet still very effective.
My favourite character in the novel has to be Sarah. Sarah is hard-working and passionate about her job, but her boss is making her life a living hell. She is a loving, kind-hearted woman who sacrifices her own safety for that of a stranger’s, and ends up saving a young girl from trouble. Although she always wants to do the right thing, the advances from her boss become too much, and she becomes desperate for some relief. Unfortunately, she ends up making a terrible mistake in the process. Sarah is a deeply flawed but realistic character, and I felt a great deal of sympathy towards her throughout the novel.
Professor Alan Lovelock is a nasty character. He is rich and well-respected within his university field, but he is not respectful of women whatsoever. He believes that he should get everything he wants, and will not stop at anything to pursue his goals. He does not know how to treat people correctly, and asks Sarah to do the unthinkable in order to award her a promotion. There wasn’t a single thing that I liked about Lovelock, and I felt angrier and angrier as I discovered more about him.
** TRIGGER WARNING ** (I apologise for any spoilers here). This novel explores the theme of sexual assault and sexual abuse in great detail. It illustrates the power dynamic between a successful professor and his younger female colleague. At times very dark and disturbing, this novel expertly explores the role of sex and desire within the workplace.
As the narrative motors onwards, Sarah makes a shocking decision that will change her life, and the lives of those around her. She attempts to move on, but the mistakes of her past come back to haunt her. Will she ever be able to truly move forwards?
So, let’s talk about the ending. There’s a dramatic end scene in which the reader discovers exactly what happened to Lovelock. The truth is extremely shocking, and I could have never predicted that! It’s not an action-packed fight scene, more of an astonishing resolution. I felt really satisfied with the ending, and felt it tied everything together really well.
Overall, I highly recommend this novel to those of you who enjoy psychological thrillers, particularly if you’re interested in reading a book about the theme of sexual assault. The characters are all very well-written, and there is plenty of suspense and tension throughout. My only criticism is that I felt that the plot was somewhat lacking – but that being said, this is still an excellent read!
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Happy reading 🙂