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Tuesday 8 February 2022

‘Blind Eye’ by Anna M Holmes

Published by The Book Guild Ltd,
28 September 2021.
ISBN: 978-1-91391345-8 (PB)

Dr Ben Fletcher is an environmental researcher into sustainable forest economy. Out of a job and without his wife who has left him, Ben accepts an offer from Connor Ahearn at the Department for International Trade.  Connor wants Ben to inspect and then write a report on a PPI in Indonesia. PPIs are Positive Partnership Initiatives between British industry and foreign nationals where the projects their governments endorse are supposed to work to the mutual benefit of both parties.

Ben flies off to Indonesia. He and his team, Dr Ardhi Durmali, a forestry economist; Rick Wilson, a forester from Vancouver, and Yulia, a Chinese Indonesian who is passionate about protecting forest communities, travel into the rain forest and begin their work inspecting and recording the number of trees being felled. All seems to be in order in the areas that come within their inspection remit, and Ben concludes that selective tree felling of the kind organised between the Indonesians and British furniture maker Trevor Arnott can work.

But then, an American activist, a grey-haired granny called Linda Smith, who has the environment-loving, Australian pop idol Rob Gilmore in tow, encourages Ben to extend his inspections further into the forest. 

Loath to get involved with illegal logging, Ben and his team are about to leave the village they have been staying in when disaster strikes.

Seamlessly written as a single, beguiling tale, for me, Anna Holmes’ Blind Eye performed more than one role. It is without doubt an excellent thriller peopled by a variety of innovative and believable characters I couldn’t help worrying about. But Holmes’ talent didn’t stop there. Blind Eye is also a heart-wrenching treatise on the plight of the world’s rain forests, the people who live in them, and our own futures if, through man’s greed for short-term gain, we fail to protect our priceless environmental assets.

Reviewer: Angela Crowther

Anna M Holmes is originally from New Zealand and lives in South-West London with her partner. She holds a BA in English, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Journalism and an MA in Dance Studies. She began writing fifteen years ago, has shown work at the Marbella International Film Festival and her screenplay version of Blind Eye was joint winner of Green Stories screenplay competition in 2020. She released her debut adventure novel Wayward Voyage in April 2021, inspired by the famous female pirate Anne Bonny.

 Anna M Holmes

Angela Crowther is a retired scientist.  She has published many scientific papers but, as yet, no crime fiction.  In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the operas of Verdi and Wagner.

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