Author – T M Logan
Published – March 2018
Genre – Psychological thriller
Sarah is a young mother wit a professional job at a university, her husband has moved out and she’s trying to juggle her career and childcare. Her boss is the worst kind of lecherous sexual predator and she finds that she has no-one to turn to for help when he sets his sights on her. The ’29 Seconds’ of the title is the time it takes Sarah to make a phone call to take up the offer from a mysterious Russian, repaying a debt he owes her.
The book is incredibly timely and highlights the issues that have cropped up in the #MeToo campaign. Sarah is put in the invidious position of having to decide if she wants to keep her job enough to have sex with her boss.
I could empathise with Sarah up to a point but the plot felt like it took things too far, losing some credibility (I know, it’s fiction). I’m not a fan of stories of any kind, book, film, play, that depend on a single decision, one that as a reader you would prefer them not to take, I find the outcome frustrating when you could see it would be the wrong thing to do. The author has painted Sarah into a corner where she feels she has nowhere else to turn but as soon as she has made her move (and things don’t pan out quite as she anticipates) there is someone that she confides in who would have helped if she’d asked. The other characters felt like caricatures – the repugnant boss, the mysterious Russian, the earnest best friend – but they served their purpose.
I read the book quite quickly but that was partly because the phone call of the title doesn’t happen until half way so I was spurred on to get to the crux of the story. The premise is an unusual one and the aftermath of the call isn’t what I expected.
Many thanks to the publisher for the review copy.