This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
20.08.20 / Police Thriller / Orion Books / Paperback / 448pp / 978-1409184010
Target Audience: Thriller readers who enjoy a combination of police procedural mysteries and adrenaline spiking heist action set pieces.
About One Eye Open
YOU CAN RUN
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.
Paul Finch’s One Eye Open is an absolute blast of a thriller that meshes together two very distinctive narrative styles and blends them together into razor sharp, do or die, action packed plot that had me on edge the whole damn time.
On one side you have the gun toting, high speed, adrenaline soaked gangster heist story line that remains in full force right until the books final moments. On the other there is an intriguing police procedural mystery surrounding an almost fatal road traffic accident that on the face of it looks like a tragic misjudgement of the road. Though as the evidence connected to the case mounts up, Detective Sergeant Lynda Hagen believes the case may involve an attempted murder. Is it the wishful thinking of a bored traffic cop who often believes things aren’t as they seem? Or is the accident linked to all the criminal activity that has plagued the streets in recent weeks?
I had such a brilliant run with One Eye Open. Paul Finch’s visualisation of both his action set pieces and British Police work were excellent and both elements sit really well together in tandem. The two lead characters are both incredibly different yet fundamentally the same. DS Lynda Hagen works with the Serious Collision Investigation Unit and it is routinely boring but necessary work. Nothing like her ex-cop husband’s time in Major Crimes. Fed up of his macho condescension of her own role as ‘just a traffic cop’, when a real case involving a cloned car in a high speed crash involving two near dead occupants with stacks of cash, Lynda vows to work the case to it’s seemingly nefarious end, come what may.
Elliot Wade may have been a rising star in F1 racing but his fall from grace was just as impressive. Desperate, strapped for cash and unwilling to do a honest days work, Elliott turns to crime as a getaway driver to make a quick pay day. Getting involved with a local but powerful crime family is lucrative for someone with his skill yet equally dangerous. During a money heist, Elliott and his crew accidentally cross the biggest criminal organisation in the country. A very precious document was present at the scene of the robbery and the Corporation will bring everyone to their knees to get it back.
As Elliott’s past and Lynda’s present become more entwined, they both realise they need to be smarter if they are going to come out the other side of the situation. Both of them have something to prove and everything to lose as the wrecking ball that is organised crime edges closer to their lives. The novel is split evenly down the middle between both characters and the story beats of one played really well off the other. There was no point where I was scratching my head, wondering who was where doing what.
Paul Finch detail and precision never slowed the story down for a second. PF even goes one further and includes some truly epic moments that weren’t expected but really raise the stakes and prove that both protagonists are out of their depth. Moments that include being buried alive and or being cornered by a madman who takes pleasure in torturing his subjects with garden shears. Finch is comfortable with the disturbing and uses it well to make the reader sweat a little.
One Eye Open bursts out of the gate at a break neck pace on page one and easily engages the reader for the entirety of its well thought out, increasingly disturbing yet incredibly satisfying narrative. I can’t recommend this thriller enough and I am intrigued to know if we are going to see DS Hagen again in the future. Give One Eye Open a go and experience Paul Finch’s talent for yourself. You won’t regret it.
About Paul Finch
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.