Jeffrey Archer’s “Turn a Blind Eye”, Pan Macmillan


“Let’s find books in the running brooks”


Jeffrey Archer’s Turn a Blind Eye

Anjana Basu, Kolkata

Turn a Blind Eye Jeffrey Archer
Pan Macmillan | INR 499/-

Jeffrey Archer perfected the art of the twist in the tale. The much awaited sequel to his Warwick series is no exception to the rule with twists aplenty, though perhaps not as tangy as they used to be.  Jeffrey Archer  returns to the world of the Warwicks which gives him the freedom to straddle the worlds of detection, law and art. 

He revisits the cast of characters he explored in the first and second books in the series. Assem Rashidi the drug lord is in jail and Booth Watson, his devilish lawyer is fighting tooth and nail to get him  released and getting the better of DI Warwick’s father in his court battles. Warwick is also up against his old enemy Faulkner not to mention several cops gone bad – however, he cannot maintain his relationship with art despite his best efforts and that of Beth’s family.

 Love, morality, erudite quotes from literature, Archer hits all the right notes and like a good storyteller he manages to hook his readers through apparent simplicity – though he might lose them with Congreve and the rest. The plot stalks the territory from the courts to jails along with the custom made tailors of Savile Row – territory that the writer is perfectly familiar with, as the readers of tabloids will know. 

Archer is always an easy read and there’s something comforting about his story telling style – it is so nostalgically old fashioned.  Like most serial writers, he ends his chapters on a high point to keep the pages turning.  It takes an art to concoct different types of cliffhangers one after another and balance them. Readers will happily weave back and forth between the courts, the criminals and the undercover activities on the city streets with PC Bailey and Pankhurst thrown in for good measure – the latter is a descendant of the famous suffragette Emetine Pankhurst which is thrown in as a frisson for those fond of history. Archer likes to get rid of characters if his plot requires it without sparing too much thought – though his violence is understated and politically correct, rare in the days of blood and gore.  

As the title says the book is about people who turn a blind eye to various things, some for the sake of money, some for love and some because they are working undercover and can only focus on the things relevant to their work – anything else can be ignored. The consequences can be disastrous for those who suffer the fallout.

The ending, as always, is neat, with the promise of continuity.

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