A Blind Eye: A Novel

A Blind Eye: A Novel

4.5 2
by G. M. Ford
     
 

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Beneath the rotting floorboards of an abandoned shed are human bones -- lots of them -- the last things a runaway rogue true-crime writer and his photojournalist ex-lover expected to find when they took shelter from a vicious Wisconsin blizzard. The grisly nightmare Frank Corso and Meg Dougherty have uncovered is nothing they can turn a blind eye to. The hideous

Overview

Beneath the rotting floorboards of an abandoned shed are human bones -- lots of them -- the last things a runaway rogue true-crime writer and his photojournalist ex-lover expected to find when they took shelter from a vicious Wisconsin blizzard. The grisly nightmare Frank Corso and Meg Dougherty have uncovered is nothing they can turn a blind eye to. The hideous slaughter of a family, undetected for fifteen years, must be avenged, as the hunt for a killer carries Corso halfway across the country, and through a chilling history of violence, terror, and bloodshed. But becoming an instrument of justice has made him a target of a rage-driven maniac -- and it's leading to ashocking truth hidden in an isolated place where death lives ... and where no law protects the innocent.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The bestselling true-crime writer Frank Corso and his tattoo-covered Girl Friday, Meg Dougherty, literally fall into the hunt for a bizarre serial killer in this suspenseful fun-and-gun adventure from Ford (Fury; Black River). Snowed in for days at O'Hare, Corso impulsively decides to rent an SUV and drive out of the storm zone, but when he gets to Avalon, Wis., he plunges off the icy road and over a cliff. Tearing up the flooring for firewood in the abandoned farm they take refuge in, Corso uncovers the corpses of a family, merely one set of victims in a killing spree spanning 30 years. Following in the tradition of John D. MacDonald and the Travis McGee romps, Ford's eclectic plot sends his hero from state to state, from an inbred mountain enclave in New Jersey to a nunnery with a murder. Deep into the book, he pointedly has a cop say, "This is like something out of science fiction." Corso and Dougherty alternate between acting like ruthless hard cases and giddy teenagers sneaking a joint-any excuse for a good scene, an entertaining moment (such as the guy who "looked like he'd been captured by vampires and was being kept as a pet"). When Corso falls into the hands of the killer and faces torture, though, Ford achieves fever pitch ("Corso began to make noises in his chest like a gored animal"). This is a thrill ride, sure to please readers looking for fast-paced suspense. (July 1) Forecast: Popular within the mystery community, Ford often serves as toastmaster at conventions. A blurb from Dennis Lehane won't hurt, but it remains to be seen whether he can leap into a higher sales bracket. That Black River won the Spotted Owl award given to mysteries set in the Northwest suggests he's due for a national award nomination. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
True-crime author Frank Corso learns once again that betting on people’s intrinsic goodness doesn’t pay. A snowstorm a hundred miles wide strands Corso (Black River, 2002, etc.) in O’Hare Airport with his ex-girlfriend Meg Dougherty, whose suspicions have just been confirmed by the TV in the airport bar: Corso invited her along not because of her skills as a professional photographer, but as camouflage. The State of Texas has issued a warrant for Corso’s arrest as a fugitive material witness. The potential for an imminent appearance by Tommy Lee Jones explains why Frank, who’s already cut off his trademark ponytail, now wants to drive to the nearest airport in the middle of a snowstorm. Meg hits the road with him till a collision lands the two in an abandoned farmhouse. When they tear up the floorboards in order to feed a fire that will keep them from freezing to death, they discover the bodies of a family murdered 15 years ago. Sheriff Trask makes a deal: Investigate the murdered family and save Trask’s career, and she’ll let Corso escape the deputies waiting to cuff him. It’s an offer Corso can’t refuse. In minutes, he and Meg are back on the road, eluding the Texas deputies and tracking a most unusual serial killer. It’s hard to decide what’s better, the action or the dialogue, in this hugely entertaining study of good intentions and bad. Author tour

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061842344
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
278,517
File size:
961 KB

Read an Excerpt

Blind Eye, A
A Leo Waterman Mystery Chapter One

"I see." The woman sighed and forced her face into an uncomfortable smile. "You haven't been listening to me, have you, sir?"

"I've been listening," Corso said.

"Then you've heard me saying noon tomorrow, sir." She hesitated. "At the very earliest."

"I really need to get out of here."

She stopped fanning the pile of tickets and reluctantly made eye contact.

"As I've told you before, sir, all flights are canceled indefinitely."

"I've been stuck in this ... this ... facility for two days."

She sighed. "Sir ... pleeease. It's inconvenient for all of us, sir, but I assure you there's absolutely nothing that can be done about it." She gestured toward the windows, shook her head disgustedly, and again used her square white fingernails to pick through the paperwork. Corso jammed his hands into his pants pockets, turned away from the Courtesy Desk, and walked to the window.

Outside, a thin curtain of snow and ice blew in from the west at a thirty-degree angle. Nothing moved. Daylight's footprints and tire tracks lay buried beneath yet another foot of freshly fallen snow, leaving the tarmac a solid, wind-whipped blanket of white.

Inside, O'Hare International Airport looked like a refugee camp. Every flat surface held either a stranded traveler or his baggage. Fifty yards away, at the far end of the concourse, a pair of soldiers, automatic weapons slung over their shoulders, crisscrossed the floor, stopping here and there to check a lock or gaze into the face of a sleeping citizen.

The helmets turned in unison as Meg Dougherty came striding around the corner, her tall laced boots clicking over the floor and her black cape fanning out behind her like a pair of ebony wings. She said something to the boys, but Corso couldn't make it out. The taller of the two gave her a small salute and then dug an elbow into his buddys ribs. The buddy leaned over and whispered something in his partner's ear. They smiled and bumped shoulders as she walked past.

In the harsh overhead lights, she looked like a vampire queen. Or maybe the angel of death. Pure Goth. Black all over. Cape, tights, boots, nails, lips, and hair. Better than six feet. Betty Paige on steroids, she cut through the artificial air like an arrow.

A muffled groan pulled Corso's attention to the window ledge on his right, where an elderly woman stirred in her sleep, sliding her wrinkled cheek into the small puddle of drool her mouth had deposited onto the side of her plaid Samsonite suitcase.

Dougherty came to a stop at Corso's side. She looked out the window at the winter wonderland. Then turned and threw an angry gaze Corso's way. He noticed, averted his eyes, and began to survey the icy night with renewed interest.

"You enjoy your little jaunt?" he asked.

"Nothing like a jog around an airport to clear the lungs."

He walked three steps closer to the giant pane of glass separating them from the blizzard. Put his hand to the surface for a moment. She followed him.

"It was a most informative interlude. It really was." Something in her tone alerted him.

"How so?" he asked.

"Well, first off, I found out we're probably not going anywhere." Corso eyed her. "Since when are you the weatherman?"

"Weather person."

"Whatever."

"Since I met a meteorologist in the bar."

"Oh, really."

"Nice guy ... namea Jerry."

"Jerry?"

"Says this weather pattern is what they call a static low-pressure inversion. Says it's got Chicago surrounded."

"Hmmm."

"Says the weather pattern is stalled right here over the Midwest."

"That so?"

"Yep. According to Jerry, the storm's about a hundred miles across and not moving a muscle anytime in the foreseeable future."

"A hundred miles, huh?"

"That's what he said."

Corso turned and walked back to the Courtesy Desk. The woman's eyes were weary and rimmed with red. "You're not going to be a problem, now are you, sir?"

"What kind of a problem?"

"I'm not going to have to call security, am I?"

"Why would you want to do that?"

"Because, sir, you seem to be the only one having difficulty understanding the situation."

"I've got to get out of here."

Her face said she didn't give a shit. "As I've told you every fifteen minutes for the past six hours" — she shrugged, showed her palms — "nobody is going nowhere."

Corso opened his mouth, but the woman cut him off. "Unless, of course, you'd like to discuss the matter with security."

"Why do you keep bringing up security?"

"What with the terrorism and the increase in vigilance and all," she said, nodding at the approaching soldiers, "I'm given to understand that security checks can be quite lengthy and unpleasant these days."

Corso heard the scratch of boots and felt the presence of the soldiers. A voice asked, "Trouble here, Annie?"

She put on a wry smile and looked to Corso for an answer.

Corso held up both hands in surrender. "No trouble," he said.

She arched an ironic eyebrow at the soldiers and then turned back to Corso. "Then what can I do for you, sir?"

"I just wanted to ask a question."

"What question is that, sir?"

"Where's the nearest airport that's still flying?"

She set the pile of paperwork on the counter and began clicking on the keyboard. Each of her thick white nails had a different Christmas design painted on it. A Santa. A Christmas tree. A candy cane. A reindeer. And a wreath.

"Madison," she said after a moment.

"How far away is that?"

"Coupla hundred miles," she said.

Corso thanked her and walked back over to the window where Meg stood, gazing out at nature's carnage. The old woman on the ledge stirred again ...

Blind Eye, A
A Leo Waterman Mystery
. Copyright © by G.M. Ford. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

G.M. Ford is the author of six widely praised Frank Corso novels, Fury, Black River, A Blind Eye, Red Tide, No Man's Land, and Blown Away, as well as six highly acclaimed mysteries featuring Seattle private investigator Leo Waterman. A former creative writing teacher in western Washington, Ford lives in Oregon and is currently working on his next novel.

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4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Reporter Frank Corso fell from grace when he was accused of making up a crime story. However, Frank is resourceful and easily reinvented himself into a true-crime writer who claims to have insider information on a Texas high-society murder. Rather than face the results of a subpoena demanding he talk, Frank does what comes naturally; he goes on the run. Accompanying Frank into hiding in wintry Wisconsin is his photographer, Meg Dougherty.

Following an accident caused by blizzard like weather, Frank and Meg take shelter on an abandoned farm in Avalon. In the shed, they discover the remains of the male members of the Holmes family, whom everyone thought, simply left town fifteen years ago. The local sheriff cuts a deal with Frank that he won¿t be handed over to Texas if he investigates the murders. Already fascinated by the grisly scene, Frank accepts the terms. He starts his inquiries by looking into the mother of the brood who's not part of the skeletal remains. He soon traces her bloody trail to other homicides, but the culprit has plans to add the writer to the pile of deaths.

The suspense is at the usual high level expected in a G.M Ford novel starring the likable antihero Frank who is accompanied by a support cast that adds exaggerated regional eccentricities. Yet with all that the tale seems off slightly because whenever Frank hits a dead end he finds this incredible Ziggy like source that moves him further along on the case. Still fans will continue reading because the rapid pace, the chilling suspense, and the quaint cast make for a strong entertaining read.

Harriet Klausner

Guest More than 1 year ago
Picked up this book to take to the beach. I never made it to the ocean. Couldn't put it down. Can't wait to read all his others.