29 seconds

Do you like staying up all night?

If not then you should definitely start reading T. M. Logan’s second thrilling novel, ’29 Seconds’, early on in the day. This is a gripping story that combines a twisting plot with a very relevant look at the way our culture rewards predatory male behaviour.

What’s it about?

Sarah’s boss is convinced she secretly wants him – or perhaps he’s just confident she won’t be able to say no. Certainly he has no intention of hearing ‘no’.

Sarah is a realist and simply praying that she can keep his hands off her long enough to secure her longed for promotion. Maybe then she’ll be better able to manage his advances.

When she tries to help a young girl, she meets an extremely dangerous man who offers her a once-in-a-lifetime deal: he’ll make her problem disappear. Forever. All she has to do is make a call, give a name. But what will happen if she does?

What’s it like?

Perhaps a little slow getting started – it takes Logan nearly one hundred pages to reach the offer the plot hinges on – but the backstory is obviously important to establish Sarah’s mounting frustration.

Once the offer is made, Sarah’s deliberations begin, a call is made, and it’s like a rollercoaster is released. Suddenly, the plot is careening round the track, Sarah clinging giddily to her life by her fingertips, wondering what on earth will happen now.

I loved the shocking twists and turns that characterised the latter part of the story, though perhaps not as much as I loved the change in Sarah’s own character. Initially a very meek creature whose husband has left her with their two children to shack up with his mistress – and not for the first time! – Sarah gradually discovers she possesses a core of steel. She will not accede to her boss’s demands. She will not accept incompetence from those who were meant to help her. She will craft a solution that suits her and her world. The final pages form a delicious and very satisfying resolution.

Final thoughts

Suspend your disbelief sufficiently to accept the plot’s central premise and this is a cracking read.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the inclusion of a spot of surprising professional incompetence…if you want to enjoy it too you’ll have to read the book!*

Recommended to all thriller fans.

’29 Seconds’,
T. M. Logan,
Zaffre, 2018, paperback ARC
*paperback publication date: 8th March 2018
Many thanks to the publisher and publicists for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Want to know more about T. M. Logan? He discusses his early reading and writing experiences, including his favourite childhood books here.