29 Seconds by T. M. Logan
Publisher/Year: St. Martin’s Press, 2019
What if a 29 second phone call could change the course of your life forever?
Sarah is a young professor struggling to prove herself in a workplace controlled by a charming and manipulative man. Alan Hawthorne is a renowned scholar and television host who preys on female colleagues behind closed doors. And Sarah is his newest target.
When Sarah rescues a young child in trouble, she expects nothing in return. But her act of bravery puts a powerful and dangerous man in her debt.
A man who believes all favors must be repaid.
What I thought
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Unfortunately, this book was not for me. This was one of those books that ended up being just an “okay” read for me, which genuinely surprises me because it got rave reviews. It was a quick read, even though it took me a while to get through. When I did feel like picking it up, the pages flew by quickly as the chapters were really short, which I do like in a thriller. So, the pace was on point, I just struggled with connecting to the story.
I knew from the get go that the plot was going to be far-fetched, and I can suspend my disbelief as much as anyone. But once the phone call went awry, I just couldn’t anymore. The story just went off the deep end. I thought the ending was awful–I didn’t buy it, and I’m honestly still not sure what even happened. Not to mention, I never felt remotely like the villain got what he deserved.
As far as Sarah goes, I simply couldn’t stand her as a protagonist. She was so wishy washy and whiny and felt 100% like a woman written by a man. There was a scene that so bothered me that I had to rant about it to my husband. Sarah eats lunch with a friend who orders fish and chips while she has a lowly ham salad sandwich. And she has this inner dialogue where she wonders how her friend can eat like that and still maintain her figure while she nibbled her sandwich and ultimately threw the whole thing away. That makes me cringe even typing it out. Heaven forbid that a woman eat some freakin’ fish and chips and not worry about the effect on her figure! And I think why it bothered me so much was that this was a book clearly written as part of the #MeToo movement where we see a professor who habitually sexually harasses (and borderline assaults) his colleagues and who ultimately “pays” for it. So that scene felt so contradictory and even hypocritical to me.
And now I’m just rambling, so suffice it to say that this wasn’t the book for me. Please don’t take just my word for it–plenty of people enjoyed it, and I do believe that there’s a book for everyone. This one just happened to not be for me, and that’s okay.