After reading Lies I was excited for T.M Logan to get another book out for me to go straight into. This was released near the beginning of the year and I finally found time to read it and… it was ok. No scratch that the book was good and the ending was definitely not what I thought it was going to be I personally just felt it took a while to really grab me.
29 Seconds follows the life of a working single mum called Sarah. Her husband has recently left her but thankfully her job has managed to keep her mind off this as much as she focuses on gaining that permanent contract at the university she works at. The only problem with this being that the person in charge of her promotion is her boss who is renowned sexual predator that has managed to make himself almost bulletproof allowing him to take advantage of his employees in any way he sees fit. After she refuses to do what is “necessary” in her boss’ eyes to get herself ahead she finds herself being refused her permanent contract.
Following this news she leaves work in an awful mood and manages to save a young girl from getting kidnapped after he anger lets loose and she drives into the kidnapper. Through this the young girl’s father offers her a deal that he says will pay his debt. She can give him one name and he will see to it that this person disappears. Sarah is left with an insane decision and she sees more of the power her boss has and how much it can destroy lives. What will she do?
After a 27 seconds phone call her life will change forever but it is as simple as it sounds?
As I stated at the start I was so excited to get stuck into this after loving “Lies” so much and I was a little bit disappointed that the start didn’t grab me the same. Don’t get me wrong overall I did enjoy the book so let’s have a look at the positives first.
I hated Alan Lovelock (Sarah’s boss) as a character, he was everything you would imagine a sexual predator to be. He was manipulative and far too clever with how he handled himself. He managed to create a safety net for himself, where he had a great reputation and a lot of people’s jobs relying on him. His success was everyone’s success. To be the fact that I was able to despise a fictional character so much is a testament to good writing. I was constantly wanting him to get found out or outwitted and yet I was constantly surprised at how well he actually managed to cover himself.
(Spoiler) There is a spoiler here but it is genuinely one of my major pros for this book so just skip over this one if you don’t want any spoilers. When Sarah is suddenly caught out in her lie following the kidnapping I loved that it created a new situation where she would have to find her escape route. Suddenly she had created a much graver situation for herself and her family and it looked like there was no way out for her. Suddenly you worried deeply for her and what she was going to do, was she really going to give into Alan’s demands? To me this showed the strength of her character by the simple fact that she didn’t instantly give in, in fact she used this situation as motivation.
The end was unexpected and managed to lead me to one conclusion before getting to the end. I love when I really can’t tell exactly how a story is going to end but I love it even more when I get directed one way and then pulled back right at the last minute. It really looked like everything was hopeless for Sarah and that she was far too in over her head. It kept me gripped which is exactly what I was hoping for when I started reading the book in the first place.
So what was it that I didn’t like as much?
The story seemed a bit far fetched. with the chances of coming across a kidnap scheme that is linked to the Russian mob and suddenly having one the main players in your debt it just seemed a bit out there. I believe the themes were appropriate considering the current climate, however I feel it could have been handled differently. Rather than taking it off on what felt like a bit of a tangent maybe there could have been more focus on the story surrounding Sarah and the abuse.
The story didn’t hold my attention as much as I’d hoped. I did eventually get wrapped up in it but to be honest that was probably about two thirds of the way through and that always seems a bit too far in for me. My persistence paid off in the end but not everyone is like me and has to finish a book they start. The beginning itself was quite good but it felt like there was a bit of a dip, which surprising happened at one the major points surrounding the kidnap part that was setting the rest of the book up.
Overall I did find the book a good read and it’s unfair to compare it to another book by T.M Logan but it’s pretty natural to. I was never overly sold on the premise of the book because the abuse storyline I thought would be quite a hard thing to read, turns out it actually was a major positive, considering it made me really hate the “villain” of the story. I lost a bit of interest midway through and was only pulled back in when it seemed like Sarah had no way out of her situation. I would still recommend it though.