Author – Cath Staincliffe
Published – April 2013
Genre – Fiction
After reading a stack of books which deal with the investigation of crimes it’s refreshing to look at things from another angle. In Blink of an Eye we follow the impact of an accident that changes the lives of those involved ‘in the blink of an eye’.
The story is told from the viewpoint of two main characters – Naomi and her mother Carmel. After leaving a summer barbecue at her sister’s house Naomi is involved in a horrific accident. In that moment her life and the lives of those closest to her are irrevocably changed. The story is about the emotional fallout from this event and the impact it has on the relationships of Naomi and her family.
There is also something of a crime fiction element to the book. Naomi seemingly can’t remember the details of the accident and a remark made by her sister prompts their mother to try to piece together what happened. Despite the fact that Carmel is a social worker she is unable to deal with the crisis in the way that she knows she should, so she begins to try to piece together what happened to Naomi – quizzing those who were at the barbecue.
The stresses and strains that the accident puts on the family and particularly Naomi are very credible and it brings to the fore some of the tensions within the family and Carmel’s reminiscences fill in the background.
I have to confess that I didn’t find Naomi a completely likeable character but I did feel for Carmel and her husband. And it’s all too easy to imagine yourself in the shoes of someone who makes a small error which has such devastating consequences. I was really drawn into the story and like the Nicci French books the characters’ lives are rich in detail, which really brings them to life.
Thanks to the publisher for the review copy. You can see another point of view at Reviewing the Evidence.
Sue – I already liked Staincliffe and it sounds as though this keeps up the quality. Thanks for sharing.
It’s funny how Carmel struggles to deal with it as she would advise someone in her role as a social worker to do. It shows how the real world does work, those in professional positions often can’t bring it into focus when it’s needed in their own lives. This sounds interesting. Thanks.
It’s something the character recognises herself – makes it all the more credible.