*I was sent an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thank you HQ for this opportunity.*
Today's review comes as part of a blog tour to celebrate the release of Vicky Newham's brand new novel, Turn A Blind Eye. This is my first blog tour and I couldn't have chosen a better book to start with! DI Maya Rahman is about to return from compassionate leave when the headmistress of her old school is murdered on the first day of term. Eager to jump right back into work, Maya leads the investigation and soon discovers that the schools she put on such a high pedestal might not be all it seems...
I'd like to start off by saying how easy this book was to read. Made up of just under 400 pages, it was the short chapters that made it such a breeze. Perfect for reading during lunch breaks, while commuting or during those 5 minutes you get to yourself once the kids have gone to bed.
As you will know I am fairly new to the crime/thriller genre, so I am fairly inexperienced with the usual detective stereotype, but immediately found an Indian female detective refreshing! Maya brought a sense of realism to the book, what with gender equality being such a big political topic in today's news, it definitely made the story relatable and one everyone should read.
Set in Tower Hamlets, East London, Newham tackles a multitude of sensitive topics in this book, religion, race and sexism being just some of them. For many authors this would be a stumbling block however Vicky handles them with a delicate, perceptive and honest touch which adds an air of finesse to her writing. It is very clear that she has an understanding of the area and community she is writing about which makes her writing even more pragmatic.
For me personally the pace of the book was very slow and anti-climatic. This was probably intentional as we are following a detective as she attempts to crack the case, so with that in mind it sits perfectly with the plot. However I would have liked a little more suspense to get me on the edge of my seat screaming “WHO IS THE KILLER?!”. I will give it to Vicky though, when it finally emerged who the culprit was… WOW! I had a variety of suspects going through my head as I was reading but never in a million years would I have guessed them…
As a bookseller I can definitely see a gap in the crime/thriller market for this book, especially as a way to attract female readers to an otherwise male dominant genre. Don’t read it for nail-biting suspense, read it because it is a new brand of detective novels that openly talks about diverse culture and “taboo” topics.