First Published: July 2013(paperback)
No .of pages: 272
Synopsis (from Amazon):
In a heartbeat, life changes. A sunny, Sunday afternoon, a family barbecue, and Naomi Baxter and her boyfriend Alex celebrate good news. Driving home, Naomi’s recklessness causes a fatal accident, leaving nine-year-old Lily Vasey dead, Naomi fighting for her life, Alex bruised and bloody and the lives of three families torn apart. Traumatised, Naomi has no clear memory of the crash and her mother Carmel is forced to break the shocking truth of the child’s death to her. Naomi may well be prosecuted for causing death by dangerous driving. If convicted she will face a jail term of up to 14 years, especially if her sister’s claim that Naomi was drink-driving is proven. In the months before the trial, Carmel strives to help a haunted and remorseful Naomi cope with the consequences of her actions. Blink of an Eye is a novel about the nightmare that could be just around the next bend for any one of us.
This is my second Cath Staincliffe book. After reading “Split Second” last year, I immediately went on the hunt for more of her books. She writes about difficult scenarios that make you question your own opinions and own reactions if you were in a similar position.
“Blink of an Eye” is about a fatal car crash and the consequences it has on those involved and their families. The story is told from the point of view of Naomi, who was in the crash and her mother Carmel, and it begins before the accident, at a family gathering. Once the scene has been set, the readers already know what events are around the corner, although it isn’t built up as a big dramatic event. I expected more to be made of the accident itself, however, once I had read the book to the end, it made sense to me that the accident was not the focal point of the story, it was more the catalyst for the events that followed.
And this is where the book gets really interesting. I devoured the rest of it in two sittings, and only because I was forced to put it down the first time. Naomi can remember nothing of the accident and is devastated at the news that she had caused the death of a child. Her mother is torn between her sympathy for the little girl’s family and her concern for her seriously ill daughter. As we shift between the two points of view, we begin to understand the devastating effect that the events of that day have had on everyone involved and as we move towards a trial, it all starts to unravel.
My only criticism of this book is a couple of plot points that, to me, would not have happened in real life; however, I understand why they had to happen in this book to continue the flow. They don’t detract from the book at all and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I just feel it was a slightly less realistic situation than her previous book.