Frank Corso already survived a defrocking by The New York Times
, following his alleged fabrication of a major crime story. Having since re-created himself as a true-crime writer, he can ill afford to have his credibility questioned again. So when, in G.M. Ford's A Blind Eye
, he is subpoenaed to back up his book-selling boast about a Texas high-society murder, Corso disappears into the upper Midwest with his photographer (and former lover), Meg Dougherty--only to stumble onto one of the most horrific stories of his career.
Seeking shelter after an SUV accident in tiny, blizzard-racked Avalon, Wisconsin, Corso discovers the bones of Eldred Holmes and his sons shoved beneath an abandoned barn. Neighbors thought the family had moved away 15 years before; instead, its males had been murdered. Bargaining with Avalon's sheriff to stay free of the Texas authorities, Corso agrees to investigate these killings. The solution may lie with Eldred's wife, Sissy, an exotic seductress whose skeleton isn't among the pile, and whose deliberately obscured--and bloody--trail leads the author and Dougherty to a slain nun in Pennsylvania, a family-destroying fire among isolated hill folk in New York, and a desperate, deadly ambush in northern Michigan. It doesn't take the rangy Corso long to realize that he's dealing with a protean and controlling killer, immune to remorse.
Ford is adept at dribbling out the sort of revelations that build fictional suspense. He enhances that with a mordant wit, oddball secondary players, and a protagonist whose gruffness is infrequently but intriguingly undermined by a warmth born of loyalty. Yet A Blind Eye, for all of its gripping darkness, pales beside its predecessors, Fury and Black River. The super-secret information source to which Corso turns here whenever he loses his quarry's scent is a contrivance beneath Ford's talents. And the assassination of an Avalon deputy, for which Corso is held responsible, is a complication with little purpose and no satisfactions. Fortunately, this book's chilling close makes the whole thing go down easier. --J. Kingston Pierce
From 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.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.