NottsLit review of 29 Seconds by T M Logan
Nottingham resident T M Logan is at Waterstone’s tonight - 8th March, 7pm - speaking about his second thriller, 29 Seconds. Details of this FREE event HERE
I’ve read and, to a degree, enjoyed both of Logan’s bestselling thrillers. He undoubtedly writes to keep the reader reading, and he is rather good at it. His short chapters, most of which end with a tempting hook, make you want to know ‘what happens next’, whilst his characters are of the identifiable everyman/woman type. If the male hero of his first book, LIES, was a little too weak and easily baffled, the leading lady in 29 Seconds is a stronger, more believable character.
After Sarah - who works in a London university specialising in the poet/playwright Christopher Marlowe - saves a child in peril, she receives a Hitchcockesque opportunity from a dangerous Russian. It’s a timely offer as her boss is sexual harassing her. This Weinstein-like monster, Professor Lovelock, is using his power and position to make Sarah’s life hell, and she’s not the first woman he’s abused. When the Russian crime boss says he wants to repay his debt to her, it’s not hard to see where this is going, though it takes a little too long to get there.
Sarah is pushed to extremes by the bad professor and it’s easy to see why she’s tempted to accept the offer to remove him, but what if it all goes wrong? One thing is for sure, it’s not going to be that simple to make all her problems disappear.
The book adopts the idea that ‘everyone has a name to give’ if presented with such an opportunity. I’m not sure that’s true but Lovelock is suitably horrible. The opening section of 29 Seconds is superb, you’ll be well into the story before taking a breath. The middle explores the ‘what if?’ and ‘what would you do?’ angles well, if a little too indulgently. The final act is a nicely-crafted set piece but the surprise ending left me cold.
LIES and 29 Seconds are stand alone novels of the fast paced, page-turning type, set mainly in the south. Logan’s next thriller, SEVEN DAYS, is set in France. I’ll look out for it.
29 Seconds ****