Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: September 10, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre: Thrillers / Psychological
From T.M. Logan, the bestselling author of Lies, comes a sensational new thriller that explores what happens when a split second thought of revenge takes on a life of its own.
“Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear.”
Sarah is a young professor struggling to prove herself in a workplace controlled by the charming and manipulative Alan Hawthorne. A renowned scholar and television host, Hawthorne rakes in million-dollar grants for the university where Sarah works—so his inappropriate treatment of female colleagues behind closed doors has gone unchallenged for years. And Sarah is his newest target.
When Hawthorne's advances become threatening, Sarah is left with nowhere to turn. Until the night she witnesses an attempted kidnapping of a young child on her drive home, and impulsively jumps in to intervene. The child’s father turns out to be a successful businessman with dangerous connections—and her act of bravery has put this powerful man in her debt. He gives Sarah a burner phone and an unbelievable offer. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that can make all her problems disappear.
No consequences. No traces. All it takes is a 29-second phone call.
Because everyone has a name to give. Don’t they?
Dr. Sarah Haywood is a woman with a doctorate of the arts, passionate, intelligent, driven and being completely stymied by her boss who is preventing her from what we would call a tenure-track position. Dr. Allen Hawthorne is a world renowned academic with several successful books, BBC specials, a beautiful wife, a lovely home, and his path is littered with the women he has assaulted, used, and destroyed if they spoke out about it. They call him bulletproof, a serial harasser, and abuser. He also controls Sarah's future at the university.
Sarah has her own issues. Her husband has left her for another woman leaving her behind with (2) kids and a mortgage to deal with. Thankfully, her father is straight up awesome and willing to help her in anyway that he can. Sarah knows the rules for dealing with Alan. Rule # 1 - Don't ever be alone with him. Over and over again she tries to tell herself to stick to the rules and never allow for any situation where she is left alone with Alan. That includes parties at his home. Sarah has been dealing with Alan's sexual harassment, stalking, and holding promotions over her head for (2) years.
The breaking point really comes when he takes credit for her idea, and then hires a male for the job that Sarah had her sights set on. He pretty much tells her sleep with me and I will give you what you want. Don't, and I will make your life miserable. Then the unthinkable happens. Sarah witnesses a kidnapping attempt of a young girl. She stops the event and ends up being owed a favor by the young girls wealthy and dangerous father. All she has to do is provide this man with one name. One name, one 29 second phone call and all her problems will go away. She knows that making this choice is unconscionable but could possibly solve all her problems or make them even worse. If that were not enough, something goes awry and suddenly the sense of real jeopardy kicks in and the suspense actually makes the book worth finishing.
29 Seconds is obviously created for the #MeToo movement especially after Harvey Weinstein's misdeeds have become so deeply embedded in our nightly news. The question is whether or not you would do what Sarah did by going to the dark side for revenge, or walking away from the job you love to avoid any further unwanted advances or stalking from your boss be it man, or woman. Yes, it does happen to both sexes folks. Women don't have the copyright on being harassed. What would you do? Her husband, as far as I am concerned, is a scum bag leaving her behind to take care of their children.
By the time Sarah makes her choice, you find yourself holding your breath, praying that she can finally get what she deserves. From there the book races through twists like a roller coaster. However, I am sadly disappointed in the finale and conclusion. The book seems to hold its breath for something to happen to Sara and then it fast-forwards 4 weeks. I can't spoil what happens but it doesn't actually make any sense.