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by G. M. Ford
Avon, June 2004
368 pages
ISBN: 0380816229

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Frank Corso, defrocked New York Times reporter, now writing true crime books, is stuck at Chicago's O'Hare airport, trying to get out of town before the deputies from Texas get him and take him to testify before a grand jury. In nine days, the warrant will expire and Corso can go back to his daily life, but meanwhile . . .

He has called photographer Meg Dougherty to join him. She is ready to turn him over to the Texans because he lied to her and said he wasn't running from the law this time. So they are both stuck in Chicago. While schmoozing with a weatherman in the bar, Meg learns that the storm has a radius around Chicago of about 100 miles, so Frank decides to rent an SUV and drive to the nearest open airport (Madison, Wisconsin). They never make it, having an accident about 150 miles from Chicago in Avalon, Wisconsin.

Meg and Frank get to an abandoned farmhouse, where Frank passes out. Meg builds a fire in the fireplace, burning up all the wood she can find in the house, which is mostly the kitchen drawers and cabinet doors. She then goes to a shed on the property and starts tearing up the floorboards. When Frank awakens in the morning, he goes to the shed and continues tearing up the floorboards. A newer section of floor proves a bit harder, but he finally gets the boards up only to find human skeletons buried in plastic beneath them.

It had been thought that Eldred Holmes, his two sons and his wife, had moved away 15 years earlier, but the bodies turn out to be those of Holmes and his sons. Corso makes a deal with the Sheriff to keep the Texas authorities off his back and he will try to find the murderer.

The search takes him across the country, finally to a hill town in New York on the New Jersey border, that burned many years earlier. He talks to the one remaining resident, and then has to get to Michigan to prevent another series of murders.

A BLIND EYE makes perfect summer reading because you don't want to read it during a cold snap. It bears all the hallmarks of Ford's work: interesting and offbeat characters, excellent descriptive passages, humor, and above all, an engrossing mystery. I somehow missed the book in which Frank Corso was introduced, FURY. I think I will have to look for it, although both BLACK RIVER and A BLIND EYE work well as standalones.

And congratulations to Mr Ford on his recent marriage to Kathleen Skye Moody, another fine mystery writer.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, July 2004

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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