Today, I’m really pleased to be the latest stop on the blog tour for 29 Seconds by T. M. Logan. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book so am pleased to be able to share an extract with you!
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?
Sarah lay in Laura’s spare bed, exhausted and fuzzy-headed from red wine, but unable to sleep. Staring at the glowing red numbers of the clock radio on the bedside table as they clicked onwards, minute by minute.
It still felt like a dream. All of it. The little girl, Aleksandra, the scarred man, Volkov and his unbelievable offer. It all seemed to belong to another life, a different person. Not her life. She wanted it to be a choice that someone else had to make, someone else’s problem to solve. She floated in that for a minute, halfway between sleep and wakefulness, hoping that it was all just a product of her imagination.
You give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear.
But it wasn’t a dream. It was real. It was her life.
A choice between reason and passion. Between logic and emotion. And when had that ever been a fair fight?
She had not asked for more details, and she realised now that this had been a mistake. What did disappear even mean? It could mean all kinds of things. Was it that they were sent away, far away, and never came back? That they were threatened, to make them flee the life they knew, or face the consequences? Paid off and set up in a new life somewhere far away?
None of these options seemed very likely. Not as likely as the most obvious answer. The obvious answer being that they vanished . . . permanently.
She thought about the little phone Volkov had given her. Did it even have any charge?
She should turn it on and check, just in case. Bad idea. Because turning it on would mean she was another step closer to looking at the single number stored in its memory.
And then she’d just have to dial the number and say two words:
And her problems would vanish – if the offer was to be believed. Laura had nearly persuaded her, almost convinced her, that she should take Volkov’s offer – without even realising what she was saying. Almost, but not quite.
Sarah turned on the bedside light, reached down to her handbag, burrowed inside it until her hand closed around the smooth plastic shape of the mobile she’d been given.
What had he called it? A throwaway phone. She held it in her palm, the case cool to the touch. It was the only thing she had, the only evidence, that she had not imagined the whole encounter with Volkov – this little rectangle of black plastic was proof that it was real, that he was real, that his offer was real. She turned it over in her hand, feeling the weight of it. Just a few ounces. Nothing more.
She flipped the phone open.
Just switch it on. It probably hasn’t got any charge left anyway. Just switch it on to check.
Where’s the harm in that?
Her thumb hovered over the power button.
29 Seconds is pubished by Zaffre and is available now.
With thanks to Emily Burns for organising the blog tour.