Cross posted from www.writing.ie
A welcome addition to the genre, the new revenge thriller from bestseller Sam Blake allows two wronged women to reap their revenge, while still questioning what is right and what is wrong, in a world where seemingly the only way to succeed is by screwing someone else over.
A chance meeting on a flight to New York sends two strangers on a headlong hunt for revenge and justice. Lily has had her family business stolen by greedy con-man, Edward. Vittoria’s husband, Marcus, has set himself up a secret life with his pregnant mistress. Both men think they’ve gotten away with it, but these two women will make sure they won’t.
But, the lines between right and wrong become blurred. And as Lily begins to have doubts, Vittoria doubles down. The result is a taut thriller that will keep you guessing to the end.
Blake is famous for the Cat Connolly books; the series that chronicles a Dublin detective who always felt very genuine, engaging and likeable as a character. Our two leads this time once again fill this role.
What I’ve always been drawn to about Blake’s writing is the humanness of it. Whether its an unplanned pregnancy or managing a child with Aspergers. She always creates stories that are true to life, with characters that are so genuine, you could meet them walking down the street. Keep Your Eyes On Me, is no different.
As Lily manages her brother’s depression, and as we see the scars (both physical and emotional) left in Vittoria from a terrible trauma in her youth, the novel takes a life of its own outside the page, as the world it occupies is so clearly real.
This, I feel, is where Keep Your Eyes On Me truly excels. The story isn’t only about two people, and the objects of their revenge. Its also about the collateral damage. Lily and her brother are collateral damage to Edward, as he struggles to fix a deal with the Russian mob that has gone ary. While Marcus’ mistress, Stephanie, and her unborn child, are caught up in the whirlwind of disaster that Vittoria (through Lily) brings about on them.
Lily is a woman who is on the cusp of having all her dreams fulfilled, but she risks it all to save her family business, and by extension, her brother’s life. While, Victoria is fighting to take back a life that she feels was stolen from her. It may seem that solving each other’s problems is the easiest way, but, are you supposed to feel less guilty about ruining someone’s life purely because you don’t know them? Or, because they “deserve it”? There are a lot of questions, both logistical and metaphysical, as the thriller bends towards its conclusion.
With references for lovers of Blake’s other books, and lots of juicy twists for fans of the genre, this book is perfect for people looking for some excitement and enjoyment from the get go. And a great way to start of the storm that is the amazing line up of Irish writing in 2020.
(c) Emmet J. Driver