Publisher: Macmillan (Hardcover – 30 March 2021)
Series: William Warwick – Book Three
Length: 330 pages
My Rating: 4.25 out of 5
One of the world’s bestselling authors, Jeffery Archer, returns with the third exciting and enjoyable entry in his clever William Warwick series, Turn a Blind Eye.
London, 1987. After successfully organising a high-profile raid of a notorious drug factory, William Warwick has been promoted to Detective Inspector. However, with his promotion comes a very different assignment: exposing corruption at the heart of London’s Metropolitan Police Force. Along with his team of detectives and officers, William begins to investigate an old friend of his from the police academy, Jerry Summers, whose affluent, high-flying lifestyle seems impossible to achieve on a police income. Utilising several undercover operatives, William attempts to find out the truth behind Summers’s activities.
However, the investigation into Summers’s corruption is only one of William’s concerns, as the trial for drug baron Ahmed Rashidi, whose factory William’s team brought down, begins. Rashidi’s conviction seems certain, especially with the formidable legal team of William’s father and sister arguing the prosecution’s case. But Rashidi has hired the services of the slippery and corrupt lawyer, Booth Watson QC, whose contacts and ability to bend the rule of law puts the police’s case in serious jeopardy. At the same time, William’s arch-nemesis, the criminal genius Miles Faulkner, has escaped from jail and is hiding out in Europe, plotting the next stage of his life of crime. However, Miles’s sudden death proves to be a boon for his ex-wife, Christina, who uses her windfall to apparently reform and renew her friendship with William’s wife.
As William’s focus is torn between all these different cases, disaster strikes when a young female undercover officer under his command falls for Summers. As William and his team attempt to discover just how compromised their investigation is, the young Detective Inspector finds himself under attack from all sides as enemies, both old and new, attempt to bring him down. Can William continue his crusade to bring justice to London’s streets, or will he face the horrible realisation that more of his fellow officers are willing to turn a blind eye than he first suspected?
This was another fantastic novel from Jeffrey Archer, who has done an amazing job continuing the exciting and compelling adventures of William Warwick. Archer is an intriguing figure who has written a number of amazing crime and historical fiction novels over the last few years, such as his iconic Clifton Chronicles. I have been rather enjoying several of Archer’s recent novels, including the very clever Sliding Doors-esque novel, Heads You Win. His latest series, the William Warwick books, follow the adventures of the titular protagonist, who was first introduced as a fictional detective created by one of the characters in the Clifton Chronicles. The first two novels in this clever crime series, Nothing Ventured and Hidden and Plain Sight, were both awesome reads, and I was quite excited when I received Turn a Blind Eye a few weeks ago. Turn a Blind Eye ended up being quite an impressive read, and I really enjoyed the compelling and fast-paced story.
Archer has come up with a great story for his latest novel which not only continues some of the amazing storylines from the previous novel but which sets the protagonist up against several new challenges and antagonists. Archer blends a lot of great elements into Turn a Blind Eye from across the genres. The most prominent of these is a compelling crime fiction storyline which sees the protagonist go up against several different villains, including corrupt police, art thieves and drug lords, and there are some impressive investigative angles and fun scenes featuring clever police work and investigations. In addition, the author works in some clever legal thriller elements as the story features several courtroom sequences. These court scenes are some of the best parts of the entire novel, especially as Archer loads them up with fun legal shenanigans as the antagonist lawyer employs some really evil tricks. The author also makes great use of the 1980s setting as a backdrop to the main story, and I loved the exploration of this cool period during this fun historical novel. The entire novel chugs along at a rapid pace, and readers will have a very hard time putting this book down, especially as it features some dramatic twists, clever undercover scenes and very entertaining moments. Readers of the previous two William Warwick novels will appreciate the fantastic ways in which Archer continues the established storylines set up in the first novels, although the author does ensure that this third book is easily accessible to new readers. I really enjoyed the fun and intriguing places where Archer took his latest novel and I cannot wait to see how he will continue his compelling story in the future William Warwick entries.
I really enjoyed the great range of characters that Archer fits into this novel, most of whom are recurring characters from the previous two entries in the series. Archer features a rather large cast of excellent characters throughout Turn a Blind Eye, resulting in a mass of different character perspectives that makes for a compelling and vibrant blend of storylines and character arcs. At the top of this list is William Warwick, who serves as the central figure for most of the book’s plot. William is an exceedingly straight arrow, intently concerned with doing the right thing and bringing the villains to justice. William has another interesting adventure in Turn a Blind Eye, where he is forced to investigate police corruption and finds himself in some strange new circumstances. I really enjoy the linear storyline that Archer has set up for Warwick, especially as it appears that he will be investigating a whole new crime each novel, and he serves as a particularly good centre to this entire series.
In addition to the main protagonist, Turn a Blind Eye also features several other amazing characters who have some compelling arcs in this latest book. As always, I have to start with series antagonist Miles Faulkner, the highly intelligent criminal mastermind and art fanatic with whom William has found himself in an intense feud. Faulkner ended the last book on a high note after engaging in a bold prison escape, and this novel starts off with him fleeing to Europe before circumstances seem to take him right off the board. This results in an interesting development for the character, although readers of the previous novels will not be surprised by the clever way in which that particular arc unfolds throughout the novel. I also deeply enjoyed the character of Booth Watson QC, the go-to lawyer for the antagonists of this series. Watson is a dastardly and conniving figure in this series, and readers will love all the sneaky and entertaining ways he finds to bend the laws and manipulate the legal system. I particularly liked the way in which he serves as a counterpoint to William’s father, Sir Julian, the highly regarded and undeniably honourable legal prosecutor, and the two have an outstanding repartee with each other during the court sequences. The other character who has a really good storyline is police officer Nicky Bailey. Bailey, who is assigned undercover to watch the primary suspect of the corruption storyline, ends up falling in love with her target, resulting in the investigation becoming compromised. Archer writes an impressive and dramatic arc around this character, and I was particularly moved by its intense conclusion. All of these characters ended up adding a lot to Turn a Blind Eye’s story and I look forward to seeing some of them reappear in the next William Warwick novel.
Turn a Blind Eye was another awesome novel from Jeffrey Archer which proved to be a rather good and entertaining read. I loved the way in which Archer has continued his fantastic William Warwick series, and the author has loaded this book with some clever and enjoyable sequences and characters. A fun and intriguing novel that readers will power through in no time, Turn a Blind Eye is really worth checking out and comes highly recommended.