My enormous thanks to Emily Burns at Bonnier Zaffre for a copy of 29 SECONDS by T.M. Logan in return for an honest review. I had meant to read 29 SECONDS months ago but as ever, life intervened and with my mother in and out of hospital I simply didn’t get round to it. I’m delighted to rectify that today.
29 SECONDS was published on 8th March 2018 and is available for purchase here.
What if a single 29 second phone call could change your life forever? ‘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?
My Review of 29 SECONDS
A chance encounter will have consequences that reverberate for Sarah in ways she could never imagine.
I’m going to be completely honest and say at the outset that I found the plot of 29 SECONDS fairly implausible. And ironically, that’s why I enjoyed the book so much! 29 SECONDS would make a fabulous Bondesque film and I think reading it with that level of willing suspension of disbelief means that it is thoroughly engrossing and absorbing.
The plot races along, twisting and turning so that the reader never quite knows what will happen next and T.M. Logan’s use of short pacy chapters with some deliberately and carefully withheld information means that the reader experiences some cracking surprises. I found it enormous fun to read and was thoroughly entertained.
I thought the characters were disagreeable and vexatious. I wanted to thump Alan, shake Sarah and slap Marie. I think it takes quite clever writing to create characters that the reader really doesn’t like at all and yet still make them want to know what happens. Even though Sarah is the victim in so much of the action, I felt little sympathy for her, but I wanted her to triumph at the same time. I’ve ended the read being as confused by my own responses to the story and characters as the characters in it are to their own decisions and actions. Again, I think that is such clever manipulation of the reader by T.M. Logan.
I loved the pivotal concept of the book. A chance event and snap decision can affect a person’s whole life and 29 SECONDS is an extreme version of what could occur. We all have those ‘what if’ moments and I know I have on occasion considered the same decision Sarah has to ponder, albeit not very seriously from me. 29 SECONDS really makes the reader think.
There is also a smashing weaving of literary allusion too so that 29 SECONDS has echoes of Marlowe and Shakespeare that give small frissons of recognition for the reader too. The themes of sexism, abuse, family loyalty and protection all have real relevance in today’s society and the references to real people add an extra layer of authenticity.
29 SECONDS is a book where the reader has to acquiesce in accepting the plot, but that done, it is a wonderfully entertaining read that I thoroughly enjoyed.
About T.M. Logan
T.M. Logan was born in Berkshire to an English father and a German mother. He studied at Queen Mary and Cardiff universities before becoming a national newspaper journalist. He currently works in communications and lives in Nottinghamshire with his wife and two children. His debut novel Lies (2017) sold more than 300,000 copies in the UK and is being published in ten other countries worldwide. His new thriller, 29 SECONDS (2018) is out now in paperback and e-book.