Today I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the upcoming new thriller from Paul Finch, One Eye Open. Out on 20th August, this standalone thriller was actually one I’d happily see turned into a series. My thanks to publisher Orion who indulged my need to read by providing an advance reader copy.
About the Book
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A high-speed crash leaves a man and woman clinging to life.
Neither of them carries ID. Their car has fake number plates.
In their luggage: a huge amount of cash.
Who are they? What are they hiding?
And what were they running from?
YOU CAN HIDE
DS Lynda Hagen, once a brilliant detective, gave it all up to raise her family.
But something about this case reignites a spark in her…
BUT YOU’LL ALWAYS SLEEP WITH…
What begins as an investigation soon becomes an obsession.
And it will lead her to a secret so dangerous that soon there will be nowhere left to hide.
ONE EYE OPEN
Oh I do love a good Paul Finch novel and this is an excellent Paul FInch novel. Although billed as a standalone, I can’t help wishing that it could be turned into a series, or that we could meet the characters again as I loved this book and really got behind the dynamic new lead character of Lynda Hagen. Who knew life as. Traffic Cop could be so damned perilous?
Lynda is a Detective Sergeant with the traffic team. Her husband is a former Detective Inspector trying to make it as a true crime writer, whose own backstory is dominated by one tragic investigation that has led to a case of career ending PTSD. Along the way to this point Lynda’s own career took a kind of diversion (every pun intended) and now there is that sense of the need to find that one career defining case, the one investigation that is more than just a routine road traffic collision and that case has just fallen into her lap. Or, more accurately, off the edge of the A12 … One car, two passengers, no identification and no clear reason as to why they would have crashed. Until Lynda tracks down a large quantity of cash and bullets embedded in a tree at the crash site. Not your average crash then.
The story is full of more twists and turns that the Suffolk streets and farmland on which the action takes place and is full of threat and tension. Running alongside the present day investigation as readers we are treated to scenes before the accident, filling in the gaps in our knowledge of what happened in the weeks leading up to this dark and potentially deadly night. It is an investigation that brings Lynda up close and personal with the Organised Crime team, and it is very clear that the police are not the only people who want to speak to the two victims. With fast paced action, dramatic shoot outs and an overwhelming sense of threat against not only the couple who were in the car but also Lynda as the investigating officer who won’t ignore her own instincts no matter what her commanding officers might say, this book had me completely hooked from the very start.
I love this kind of book and it is something that Paul Finch, with his own experience and understanding as a backdrop to his writing, excels at. You get brilliant characters who are diverse and yet authentic, who vary from the determined and feisty copper to the thuggish and menacing bad guy, but all of whom keep you fixed on the page. The sense of place and the creation of setting is superb and the author has a way of describing things that put you at the heart of the action without lingering on it so long that the tension runs cold. And then there is the pitch perfect pace, be it the scene where one of the characters demonstrates his skill as a getaway driver, where you feel every bump in the road and every hand break turn, or the high stakes showdown in which Lynda finally comes face to face with the true enemy. I could feel my pulse racing and instinctively developed the ‘showdown lean’ where I find myself sitting forward and closer to the page as I read. And without fail, I am always left wanting more.
Hey – there are loads of Traffic Cops shows on TV. They’re really popular. Who says it couldn’t work in books too? HInt hint …
Definitely recommended to fill that devastating gap for heck fans and a perfect introduction to the author’s writing for those not yet acquainted.
About the Author
Paul Finch is an award-winning Sunday Times bestseller. He studied History at Goldsmiths before becoming a cop in the North-West of England and then followed a career in journalism, and screenwriting. He lives in Lancashire, UK, with his wife Cathy and their two four-legged companions, Buck and Buddy.