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A Blind Eye [Paperback]

G. M. Ford
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Aug 2005

Rules never much mattered to rogue reporter Frank Corso. So when the Texas police release a warrant with his name on it, he runs. Accompanied by Meg Dougherty, his former lover, Corso heads straight into a furious blizzard and the pair are forced to seek shelter in an abandoned house.

But in their isolated retreat, Corso and Meg make a horrific discovery - the grisly remains of Eldred Holmes and his young family. With the police firmly on his tail, Corso begins a murder-hunt that will carry him through a chilling history of terror and bloodshed, and make him the target of a rage-driven master of reinvention . . .

'The term 'page-turner' has been flogged to death, but this is the real deal . . . an utterly compelling portrait of murder, madness and the ultimate corruption' JONATHAN KELLERMAN


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; New edition edition (5 Aug 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033042016X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330420167
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 10.4 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 505,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

A Blind Eye dumps G.M.Ford's crime journalist hero Corso in a mess of his own making, and shows him proceeding to make it worse. On the run from Texas Rangers who want to lock him up as a material witness over evidence he no longer has, Corso and his photographer and ex, Daugherty crash a car in a blizzard and end up taking refuge in a derelict farm-house. Corso's luck being what it is, he finds the farmer and his teenage sons wrapped in plastic in the barn, and a family album with their wife and mother carefully scissored out of every photograph. Framed for the death of a local deputy sheriff, Corso needs to clear himself, but gets far more involved in uncovering a series of deaths that no-one in authority had even noticed, that had their roots in an isolated rural community three decades ago.

This is a powerful and convoluted plot which spends much of the time teetering on the brink of the preposterous; Ford is as much of an extremist as his hero in his bad attitude to the official forces of law enforcement and the pieties of investigation - Corso is an intuitive investigator as much as a solid pursuer of the details of legwork. The prickly relationship between Corso and Daugherty, a very angry woman indeed, is developing into one of the more interesting affairs in current crime fiction. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

'A breakneck thriller' -- Seattle Times

'Ford achieves fever pitch . . . This is a thrill ride' -- Publishers Weekly

'G. M. Ford writes the pants off most of his contemporaries' -- Independent on Sunday

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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
2.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Snowbound and snowjobbed 19 Feb 2004
Format:Hardcover
Setting your mysteries in Seattle (one of my favourite cities) is not the way to keep me as a reader, but it will certainly help get me started. Thankfully, G.M. Ford has a way with writing that will always keep me around. His Leo Waterman mysteries were first-rate, and his Frank Corso books have kept his string of winning novels alive. A Blind Eye continues this, as Ford creates a page-turner that will keep any hard-boiled detective fan glued to the text.
True Crime author and disgraced newspaper reporter Frank Corso is having a bad day. He's stuck in Chicago's O'Hare airport, snowed in and stranded, with an irate Meg Dougherty (former lover and one real friend) along for the ride. Why is Meg irate? Because Frank never bothered to tell her that the reason for the "story" they are pursuing is really because two Texas rangers have a warrant for his arrest. Stuck in an airport, his picture showing up on CNN and security starting to look at him strangely, Corso drags Meg on an ill-considered car ride into Wisconsin, where icy roads send them to the bottom of a ravine. What they discover there will bring more than just Texas law enforcement down on his head. It will involve them in a cross-country trip on the trail of a serial killer uncaught for over 30 years. It also, of course, makes him a target.
A Blind Eye takes Corso out of his familiar Seattle, and I think it stretched Ford's writing talent as well. Seattle and western Washington has always been a cozy location for him in which to write, with familiar territory and landmarks making identification easier. This one starts out in Chicago, goes to southern Wisconsin, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and the wilds of the New Jersey mountains. Removed from his familiar environs, Ford has to work a little bit harder, and he does a great job.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One Eyed Man Is King 10 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback
The True Crime writer may be one of the unsung heroes of the detective world as they go back to forgotten or mishandled cases and look for the truth. Unfortunately, a lot of what they will write will be rubbish and made up (how many people could possibly be Jack the Ripper?), but some will uncover hidden depths. Therefore, having a true crime writer as the protagonist for a crime fiction book makes some sense - they are likely to near a crime and have an impulse to solve things. However, how do you stop them spending most of their time in libraries or on the internet? You ignore the more studious side of their work and make them hapless action heroes like G M Ford's Corso.

`A Blind Eye' follows Corso as he tracks a serial killer, whilst he himself is being chased by the police. The book has little relevance to his day job as a crime writer, but more about action and thrills. For this reason a lot of it comes across as too farfetched as why would a writer get himself beaten up so often for the cause of a book? I was unable to put to one side the fact that the main hero was a little ham fisted, but apart from that the book works quite well. This is a slightly generic, but fun, crime thriller that sees Corso and co travel across some of the more out of town areas of America. Ford does a decent job in describing the world and makes the story last till the end. This is certainly not a masterpiece, but is a solid thriller for fans of simple crime fiction.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Deaf Ear 28 Jun 2007
Format:Paperback
Ford introduces us to Frank Corso, the "Hero" of the piece, in the act of repeatedly harassing a female staff member on the Courtesy Desk at a snowed in Airport. Instantly, I lost any sympathy - Frank's behaviour being not only unreasonable but also just plain stupid in the circumstances.

The author then introduces Frank's reluctant cohort, Meg Dougherty, his former lover and screetching harpie, by describing her as follows: "She looked like a Vampire Queen...Pure Goth. Black all over. Cape, tights, boots, nails..." A bizarre vision to be sure. Yet, five pages later she "...stabbed (Frank) in the chest with a long RED fingernail." As her nails had already been described as black, are we to assume she kept a spare red fingernail in her handbag for just such an occasion or does she have the supernatural ability to change the colour of her nail varnish at will?!?! Your guess is as good as mine!

At any rate, in an effort to evade the police, the gruesome twosome set off on a snowbound highway on route to an alternative airport. Meg bitching and moaning all the way whilst Frank, for some unfathomable reason, puts up with it and her. And then, of course, they have the inevitable accident in the middle of Spooky nowhere. Like I should care? I didn't care. I don't care. I was happy to leave them there. Good riddance!

Bunkum. Absolute, utter bunkum!

Jonathan Kellerman is quoted on the cover as describing A Blind Eye as a "page turner". I assume this is a misprint and is meant to read "book burner" - which is what it almost turned me into. Enough said.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  62 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The suspense is at the usual high level for a G. M. Ford boo 2 July 2003
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
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
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a Fan 3 Nov 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have all of the Leo Waterman and Frank Corso books. Was Blind Eye one of the best? Doesn't even come close to Black River, but I don't regret having made the purchase and would still recommend. No, it wasn't always believable (hey, it's fiction), but the trip across country and the weaving in of past events kept me interested. Frank and Meg once again make it out alive which for me made up for the rather creepy ending.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting action--very well written 16 Jan 2004
By booksforabuck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
All he has to do is stay away from the Texas Rangers for a few more days--until the Grand Jury term expires and he can go home. But a freak snowstorm strands writer Frank Corso, along with sometime-girlfriend and photographer Meg Dougherty in an airport and Frank decides to brave the blizzard rather than wait to be arrested. Stuck in the blizzard, Frank and Meg discover evidence of a seventeen-year-old murder. As part of a bargain to keep him away from the Rangers, Frank agrees to look into the old murder and Meg reluctantly goes along.
What they find is a story of abuse, incest, and a girl's attempts to control her environment at any cost. As they get closer, they wonder whether this girl, now a woman, might kill again--and whether they can stay alive themselves. Of course, getting closer depends on staying ahead of the Rangers, the FBI, and the local Sheriff who has her own issues.
Author G. M. Ford writes a page-turning and compelling story. Frank, with his little problem with the truth, makes an intriguing character--bad enough to be sympathetic but heroic enough to make him admirable as well. Ford's writing grabs the reader by the throat and pulls them through an exciting adventure.
Readers who enjoy action, a bit of psychological analysis, wise-talking heros, and a quirky bit of romance will definitely want to get their hands on A BLIND EYE.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Snowblind and snowjobbed 19 Feb 2004
By David Roy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Setting your mysteries in Seattle (one of my favourite cities) is not the way to keep me as a reader, but it will certainly help get me started. Thankfully, G.M. Ford has a way with writing that will always keep me around. His Leo Waterman mysteries were first-rate, and his Frank Corso books have kept his string of winning novels alive. A Blind Eye continues this, as Ford creates a page-turner that will keep any hard-boiled detective fan glued to the text.
True Crime author and disgraced newspaper reporter Frank Corso is having a bad day. He's stuck in Chicago's O'Hare airport, snowed in and stranded, with an irate Meg Dougherty (former lover and one real friend) along for the ride. Why is Meg irate? Because Frank never bothered to tell her that the reason for the "story" they are pursuing is really because two Texas rangers have a warrant for his arrest. Stuck in an airport, his picture showing up on CNN and security starting to look at him strangely, Corso drags Meg on an ill-considered car ride into Wisconsin, where icy roads send them to the bottom of a ravine. What they discover there will bring more than just Texas law enforcement down on his head. It will involve them in a cross-country trip on the trail of a serial killer uncaught for over 30 years. It also, of course, makes him a target.
A Blind Eye takes Corso out of his familiar Seattle, and I think it stretched Ford's writing talent as well. Seattle and western Washington has always been a cozy location for him in which to write, with familiar territory and landmarks making identification easier. This one starts out in Chicago, goes to southern Wisconsin, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and the wilds of the New Jersey mountains. Removed from his familiar environs, Ford has to work a little bit harder, and he does a great job. Some of it is a bit stereotypical (I'm from Iowa, and he captures it decently, but not wonderfully), but overall it shows that he did some research on his locales. Removing Corso and Dougherty from the northwest also allows him to broaden their characters as well. Seeing them on the run presents a different side of them, how they react when desperation hits. Usually, we see our heroes chasing the bad guys, not the other way around.
The relationship between Dougherty and Corso crackles with energy. They used to be lovers and have now become the best of friends. Dougherty is extremely annoyed with Corso, but she goes along with him anyway. She obviously still loves him to put up with all that he puts her through. In fact, their relationship goes through an even more pronounced change in A Blind Eye, evolving as they are forced together by circumstances. That's one thing I love about Ford's writing: the characters are always open to change and growth. While it certainly is not necessary to read the books in order, things change enough that you are rewarded for doing so. This makes both of them even deeper characters then most genre detectives.
The minor characters are given just enough depth to be believable while not overshadowing the protagonists. The sheriff of the Wisconsin town is predictably overwhelmed by having all of the media attention centered on her, along with a gloryhound deputy who's gunning for her job. This situation actually ends up being important, driving some of the action despite the fact that it's not center-stage. This is a bit distracting from the main plot, but it's not critical. Most of the rest get little, if any, development, but their suitably quirky and/or malevolent to serve their roles. The one exception to this isn't obvious until the end, however. In between some of the chapters are entries from a journal whose author is unrevealed. As the book goes on, it becomes clearer and actually adds to the horror of what is happening, as we realize that the cycle of violence may not be ending like we thought it would.
There are only a couple of faults with this book. The first is the fact that there are some superfluous scenes in the book that seem to be included just to show us how tough Corso is. Regular readers already know how tough he is, and subsequent events in the book show this to new readers. Unless Ford is just trying to show us what our rights are during a traffic stop, I see no point to them. While this is forgivable, the second problem is far more damning.
The book posits the existence of a super-secret organization that journalists and others can use to get information that is otherwise unobtainable (at least in a timely manner). This organization is so secret that they will not accept any new queries from a phone number they don't have on file, and any such calls require that the phone be disposed of as soon as the call is completed. The presentation of this organization screams PLOT DEVELOPMENT every time Corso uses it, bringing me out of the narrative. It results in a couple of funny scenes (especially when Corso has to use Meg's phone for a question), but overall it's just distracting.
Overall, A Blind Eye is a wonderful page-turner. It's not a taxing read, in fact it's perfect for Sunday afternoons or beach reading. If you like your mysteries with great characters who grow and change, the Frank Corso books are definitely for you. You don't even have very many to catch up on. Whatever you do, though, check this one out.
David Roy
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling thriller! 13 Jan 2004
By nobizinfla - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
G.M. Ford's third Frank Corso novel, "A Blind Eye" is an intense, dark, fast paced mystery thriller.
Two Texas marshals have a material witness warrant that Corso (a true crime writer) is eager to avoid.
On the lam with his amazonish photojournalist, Meg Dougherty---a blinding snowstorm drives them to an abandoned Wisconsin farmhouse for shelter. Buried in shed, they discover the skeletons of the Holmes family---murdered fifteen years ago.
The small town sheriff makes a deal with Corso. He investigates this coldest of cases---she misleads the Texas marshals.
The harrowing search for the family serial killer leads to Pennsylvania, the Ramapo Mountains of New Jersey and Michigan.
The journey to uncover the elusive and shadowy criminals is fascinating and filled with brilliant surprises.
The supporting cast---an isolated, inbred group known as the White Jacksons, the Texas marshals, the sheriff and the surprisingly cooperative New Jersey FBI SAIC---is strong and inventive.
The wisecracking Corso is positively enigmatic, with his own sense of honor---always striving to unearth the truth, no matter the roadblocks.
The ending is absolutely chilling.
A willing suspension of disbelief is the perfect supplement to Mr. Ford's agile plot and tough situation resolutions.
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