20/20 by Carl Goodman (narrated by Louise Brealy) #AudiobookReview #BlogTour

A vicious killer and a traitor on the team – can DI Harris see the truth before it’s too late?

On the first day of her new job, rookie cop DI Eva Harris is called to a chilling crime scene – a body drained of blood, with the eyes removed. It’s only the first of several similar murders, reminiscent of a series of bloody killings several years ago. Is the same killer back, or is a new threat menacing the area? As the bodies mount up, Harris must uncover the truth. But, the threat doesn’t only come from outside. Within her own team, there is a traitor at work… A heart in the mouth crime-thriller that is perfect for fans of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

It is such a pleasure to be opening the blog tour for 20/20 today. Many thanks to Carl Goodman, Audible and Amber Choudhary from Midas PR for inviting me and for my advance copy of the audiobook

DI Eva Harris's first day in her new job is dramatic to say the least. Before she even has a chance to meet her team she is called out to an incident and it's a disturbing sight that greets her. It quickly transpires that sight is an important theme in the aptly named 20/20 with the first indication coming here as the victim has had her eyes surgically removed and her blood exsanguinated. The sergeant present informs her that he believes he was involved in a similar case several years ago when a killer known as the 'Eye Slasher' brutally murdered a series of young women. He recalls that somebody working on the investigation was reminded of Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali's surrealist short film, Un Chien Andalou.
Eva is a different sort of detective; her background is as a computer analyst and she was fast-tracked to becoming a DI to work in cyber crime. Although she understood her training would involve having to undertake rotations in other aspects of police work, it soon becomes apparent that something happened which means she doesn't have full control over her career and there is somebody in the background pulling her strings. Exactly what caused her to be in this position is gradually explained over the course of the novel, revealing why Eva behaves as she does.
This is the first book in a new series and is a fantastic introduction to the characters, particularly Eva. She is a complex woman with a painful past and a determined resolve that justice should be served, even if that means her actions are somewhat unconventional at times - and not necessarily always legal... She doesn't seem to be naturally comfortable around other people and understandably keeps parts of her past secret from them which means it's intriguing to see if she is able to begin forming a bond with her new team. I especially enjoyed the development of DS Rebecca Flynn's character which surprised me given the impression I initially formed of her from the notes Eva has read about each of her new colleagues. I also really liked her boss, the rather irascible DCI Sutton who doesn't mince her words, informing Eva that she isn't particularly impressed to have a wet-behind-the-ears DI parachuted into her nick but acknowledges that she has impressive credentials and as they are desperately understaffed, she needs all the help she can get. The strong female cast is also complemented by the addition of Forensics Officer, Judy Wren who brings a dry wit to the proceedings.
Eva is convinced that the killer is new and probably not linked to the old investigation but she knows they have to look again at previous suspects. 20/20's intricate plot eventually finds her working on four cases, although her colleagues don't know about all of them. As well as the murder enquiries she is tasked with uncovering who the traitor in their midst is. The various known associates of a major organised crime drugs baron seem to be almost untouchable; they clearly have prior knowledge of planned busts and crucial evidence mysteriously goes missing so there must be somebody on the inside passing them information or ensuring anybody arrested walks free. She also has a very personal case she is working on and needs to crack a password to be able to do so but who she is looking to take down isn't revealed for some time - and even when it is, it's possible that there is more to come in subsequent books.
As an audiobook, the narration is vital and Louise Brealy does excellent work giving distinct voices to all of the characters, matching her reading perfectly to the pace of the storyline. There are a number of different strands to this intelligent, complex novel in a compelling storyline that seamlessly switches between highly tense, dramatic scenes and quieter but no less engrossing passages. Un Chien Andalou isn't the only art to feature and there are also mentions of Pre-Raphaelite works and John William Waterhouse. Eva's breadth of knowledge, physical prowess and troubled history mean she is a protagonist I'm really looking forward to following as the series progresses.
20/20 is a darkly sophisticated contemporary thriller and is an exciting start to a series which promises to be unmissable. Very highly recommended. 

Released exclusively in audio on 4th June 2020, 20/20 is Goodman’s debut Audible Original and is available to purchase here.

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

Carl Goodman is a designer and media consultant who has worked with everything from hot-metal type to computer animation and virtual reality. His interactive projects have twice won BAFTA awards. He has worked with companies and universities across Europe and the US on government-funded R&D programmes, and with major international brands on new product development, but he absolutely draws the line at commuting. He loves writing, both crime and science fiction, and enjoys stories that have both a technological edge and a dark, visceral theme. He enjoys research, although sometimes the material he unearths worries the living daylights out of him. Carl lives in Surrey with his wife and has an adult son.

About the narrator

Louise Brealey is an English stage and screen actress and writer. She is best known for playing Molly Hooper in the BBC's Sherlock. Her other television work includes Clique (BBC/Amazon), A Discovery of Witches (SKY), David Mitchell and Robert Webb’s sitcom Back (Big Talk/Channel Four) and Gomorrah (SKY Atlantic).