Vicki's Reviews > 15 Seconds

15 Seconds by Andrew Gross
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's review
Jul 08, 2012

really liked it
Read on July 07, 2012

Dr. Henry Steadman is embarking on what he thinks just might be one of the best days of his life. He has arrived via plane in Jacksonville and is already comfortable in his rented Cadillac. A successful plastic surgeon in Ft. Lauderdale who also does medical mission work in Nicaragua, he is in Jacksonville to present the keynote address to Doctors Without Borders.

The only glitch seems to be that he didn't wait for the car with the GPS, so he is not exactly sure where to turn, though he knows he is close to the resort where he is staying. He's already daydreaming about the round of golf he'll get to play with his college buddy at the Jack Nicklaus-designed course where friend Mike is a member, just as soon as he gets checked in.

He is a little annoyed when he sees the flashing lights and realizes he is being pulled over for a traffic violation. The annoyance turns to fear as he is roughly removed from the car, cuffed, and placed in the rear of the officer's patrol car. The officer has even called for back-up, in what must be the worst timing ever for a case of mistaken identity, especially as Dr. Steadman tries to explain, and his effort is mistaken for resisting arrest.

Eventually, the original officer decides to issue a warning, sends his back up officers away, and uncuffs Henry, allowing the doctor to wait in his rent car while the officer writes up a warning. As Dr. Steadman watches in his side mirror, another car drives up, shoots and kills the police officer sitting in his car, and speeds away. Dr. Steadman rushes back, verifies that the officer is dead, and then with sudden dread, realizes that there are no other witnesses and the other officers will certainly assume that Dr. Steadman is the killer. Rather than call 911 and wait for officers to be sent to the scene, Henry decides to follow the killer's car and call 911 from the road. Every decision he makes from that point seem to be burying himself deeper in the hole of suspicious behavior. He becomes the target of a terrifying police manhunt.

Things just get worse as he seeks help to get a lawyer who can intercede for him with the police, but he soon gets an anonymous call that lets him know that this isn't just a freaky case of mistaken identity; someone very clever is setting him up, and what's more, that person has apparently kidnapped his college-age daughter and will kill her if Henry goes to the police.

Henry is fearful for his life, but his actions and quick thinking help him avoid police custody. He gets some help from unexpected sources, but the information he needs is not falling quickly into place, and time is running out for both Henry and his daughter.
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