29 Seconds By T.M. Logan
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?
The novel has an incredibly timely and appropriate theme. With the #TimesUp movement in full swing. Women are no longer willing to stay silent and deal with the abusive behaviour of men whom hold all the power. I think the author has done a fantastic job, with a very sensitive subject matter. The female victims aren’t weak or timid, but strong, feisty and relatable women. That is what makes the threat of this type of abuse, so terrifying. It can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any time!
The basis of this novel, is that female victim Sarah has an opportunity to fight back! After saving the life of a young child, the mysterious father offers her a once in the lifetime chance to have revenge.
The conditions are simple, the execution will be deadly,
but does Sarah have what it takes?
‘It was a deal with the Devil’
The rules of the deal are simple. Sarah has 72hrs to provide a name, she cannot tell anyone and there’s no changing her mind, once she has given the man a name……….
The novel then jumps slightly back in time, to show the build-up to the event. Also, to show the reader exactly why Sarah has a name on the tip of her tongue.
Two weeks earlier Sarah is at a works event. She works at Queen Anne’s university and her boss the ‘bulletproof prof’ Alan is the problem. He terrorises the female employees with unwanted advances, verbal intimidation and will stop at nothing to show them the power he holds over them, their careers and mental stability. Alan made my skin crawl with his sleazy commentary and grabby hands!
‘I love you playing hard to get. You’re such a tease, Sarah’ – Alan
Oh, but why doesn’t she quit? Why doesn’t she report her boss to HR? Why does she accept the unwanted ‘attention’? I hear you say!
The truth is simple and brilliantly explained by the author. If you ask any woman, has she ever known such a man, the answer will be resounding YES! It may be your boss, co-worker, teacher or in my case the manager of the college residential building I lived in at just 16yrs old. These men use their power/authority over women/young girls to manipulate situations, where they can then paint themselves as the victim. It carries a stigma and victims are less likely to be believed, so therefore are less likely to speak out and seek help. All I know, in my case, it wasn’t me, that unlocked the creepy old man’s college dorm room door, to watch him sleep!
It is for this and many other reasons, I found Sarah’s story completely believable and relatable. I also know, without a shadow of a doubt, even just at 16 years old. I’d haven given the man, a name!
The plot of the novel then shifts to Sarah’s predicament. Will she give a name? Who is the mysterious Volkov? What will happen to her boss if she gives his name to Volkov?
Dr Sarah Haywood may hold a PHD and be an incredibly intelligent woman. But when it comes to making this choice, she struggles with her internal conscience. I will admit, as the reader, I willed her to give the name.
After being passed up for promotion yet again, and given a choice of a proposal of sex for promise of promotion in the future. Sarah suddenly snaps! She makes the call and changes all their lives….
The novel has a feel of the famous Alfred Hitchcock movie, Strangers On A Train. With two previously unknown individuals making a pact, one that will lead to murder.
But the author has had an even better idea, which leads to a superb ending!
This novel has a cleverly planned plot, the difficult theme throughout the novel is described and articulated exceptionally well. I wish the author every success with the release and applaud him for tackling this theme in this manner! 5*