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Keep Your Eyes On Me: Blake's progress in tense revenge tale of women scorned

CRIME

Keep Your Eyes On Me

Sam Blake

Corvus, €13.49

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Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin

Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin

Jason Clarke

Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin

Sam Blake is the pseudonym for Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin (pictured inset), an Irish-based literary scout who has helped many bestselling authors achieve publication. It therefore wasn't hugely surprising when she turned her own hand to writing fiction five years ago. Her first books comprised an engaging crime trilogy featuring the Dublin detective - and kickboxing champion - Cat Connolly.

Blake's latest title is a gripping and twisty standalone psychological thriller called Keep Your Eyes on Me which features two scorned women who want to settle a few scores.

Vittoria Devine, a wealthy psychologist who lives in Dublin, and Lily Power, a young London-based jewellery designer, find themselves sitting next to each other on a flight to New York. As the two women chat on the long journey, Vittoria reveals that her philandering pilot husband is having yet another affair and that this time his mistress is pregnant.

Lily's life, meanwhile, is in turmoil as a con man has managed to swindle her too-trusting brother out of their family business.

By the time their plane lands in New York, Vittoria and Lily have hatched a plan of complete revenge that will sort out the scheming men in their lives.

Will they pull off their incredible plot? Or is there more to this chance meeting than meets the eye?

The books in Blake's 'Cat Connolly Trilogy' were all very solid offerings, but she has definitely upped her game with this new title. Blake's strength lies in her ability to combine tough and memorable characters with a deliciously complex and fast-moving plot that never wanes.

She has taken the simple concept of revenge, but turned it into a riveting tale that criss-crosses the globe and involves smuggled antiques, forged artworks and even the Russian mafia.

The tension never lets up and as we hurtle towards the last few pages, Blake fires in one last plot grenade that makes you question everything you have just read.

Sam Blake is now writing on a totally different level and I, along with her scores of fans, will be eagerly anticipating what she does next.

Sunday Independent