St. Martin’s Press
Release Date (USA): September 10, 2019
My Rating: 🍪🍪🍪🍪.5
This book gave me whiplash in the best of ways. The premise of the plot was simple: After an act of good faith, Sarah Hayward finds herself with the unique opportunity to name one person, with the guarantee that they will vanish without a trace. Although she initially dismisses the idea, insisting that there is no such person in her life, Sarah struggles each day at work against the increasingly deplorable and despicable sexual harassment from her boss, Alan Hawthorne. As Hawthorne’s actions take more and more of a toll on Sarah’s mental and physical health, and threaten her career, she makes one 29-second phone call that changes her life.
A phone call naming Hawthorne as her chosen victim.
From there, Sarah is catapulted into a whirlwind of emotion, during which she constantly second guesses her choices. Every time the reader was led to believe that the deed had been done, and Hawthorne was gone from her life, he would pop up again — almost as unwanted to the reader as he was to Sarah.
The sexual harassment that Sarah and her fellow female colleagues faced is timely in topic, and heartbreaking in description. Logan has insightful narrative surrounding Sarah’s internal struggle between trying to protect her career and reputation, and wanting to stand up for the respect she deserves. The extent of Hawthorne’s power throughout the university the two work at at became increasingly clear, and one by one, the paths Sarah thinks she might be able to take to stop him are closed off to her.
I fully expected the outcome of the 29-second phone call to be exactly what was offered to Sarah at face value. I assumed that the remainder of the book would focus on any backlash or guilt Sarah felt, or perhaps there would be one person who somehow caught wind of what had happened. Surprise, surprise, this book was nothing close to predictable. The twists were well incorporated and very different from thrillers I’ve read in the past.
The only negative comment I have about this book is that some scenes seemed repetitive. Every time Sarah’s rowdy children were discussed, I felt like I was reading the same scene that had already been described several times over.
Despite the fact that I don’t quite understand the details involved in this book being published for the first time in the United States when it has already been released elsewhere, I’m glad that is the case, and that this ARC made it into my hands in time for the U.S. publication date (Today!).