I was hyped up for 29 Seconds. My first ever advanced copy of a book was the debut novel of T.M. Logan, Lies. Loved it! Anxiously awaited 29 Seconds. Debated ordering the UK version prior to the release of the US version. Emailed the publisher about getting an advance copy of the US version and was lucky enough to receive an ARC from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. I really appreciate that I received an ARC of this story, but still am vacillating on how I want to rate this book - I’m torn, for several reasons.
29 Seconds is the story of Sarah, a young mother of two who is a professor at an university. Sarah and her husband have temporarily separated (actually, he left, and we never really meet him). Sarah is hardworking and driven, and is hoping to get a permanent contract at the university this year to stabilize things for her family. However, she has several run ins with the department chair, a known philanderer, where he attempts to pressure her into sexual favors to secure her spot at the university. Sarah can’t see a way out of this sticky situation, as previous women have accused Professor Hawthorne of similar behavior, and then had their careers spiral down the drain. However, after Sarah rescues a little girl, her father offers an opportunity to Sarah to make anybody disappear. Sarah must decide if the reward is worth the risk, and where does she go from here?
The strengths, as I see them - T.M. Logan did a wonderful job of writing characters to fulfill their part in this tale. The story was fast paced and relevant.
The timing of 29 Seconds is relevant to today, with connections to the “me too” movement. As a working mom of 2, I identified with Sarah in that regard. 29 Seconds has a very rapid pace, and I anxiously read, wondering what Sarah would do. However, I found myself stopping to reread a couple of times - glad I had this on my kindle for the search feature - Professor Alan Hawthorne is occasionally referred to as Professor Alan Lovelock. At one point, I thought I missed a character. I’m still not sure if his name was Professor Alan Lovelock Hawthorne, Professor Alan Hawthorne, Professor Alan Lovelock, or if Lovelock or another name was actually a nickname. Perhaps, since I do have an advance copy, there was a name change from an earlier version, and in a few instances, the change was missed? Regardless of his name, the Professor is a truly despicable, entitled jerk, and I despised him throughout.
Although I didn’t enjoy 29 Seconds as much as Lies, it is stills a good thriller with multiple twists that I’d recommend to readers of the genre. The US version comes out on Tuesday, September 10th! Amazon link is below.
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