In The Blink of An Eye – Jo Callaghan

In the UK, someone is reported missing every 90 seconds.
Just gone. Vanished. In the blink of an eye. 

DCS Kat Frank knows all about loss. A widowed single mother, Kat is a cop who trusts her instincts. Picked to lead a pilot programme that has her paired with AIDE (Artificially Intelligent Detective Entity) Lock, Kat’s instincts come up against Lock’s logic. But when the two missing person’s cold cases they are reviewing suddenly become active, Lock is the only one who can help Kat when the case gets personal. 

AI versus human experience. 
Logic versus instinct.
With lives on the line can the pair work together before someone else becomes another statistic? 

In the Blink of an Eye is a dazzling debut from an exciting new voice and asks us what we think it means to be human

Book Info: Print Length: 415 pages. Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK. Publication Date: 19 Jan 2023

Jo works full-time as a senior strategist, where she has carried out research into the future impact of AI and genomics on the workforce. After losing her husband to cancer in 2019, she started writing In The Blink of An Eye. She lives with her two children in the Midlands, where she is currently writing the second novel in the series.

You can find Jo on twitter: @JoCallaghanKat or (less often) Instagram: @JoCallaghanKat or (even less often) TikTok @JoCallaghanAuthor

My Review:

I met Jo at Capital Crime in London in September 2022 and was lucky enough to get a proof of her new book In The Blink of An Eye which has had some absolutely RAVE reviews and the word on the street is that this book is going to be HUGE….!

Now I don’t normally listen to the hype but the premise of the book sounded very intriguing; an Artificially Intelligent Detective Entity teaming up with a seasoned DCS to review cold cases sounds like science fiction but I’ve been to see ABBA Voyage 3 times in the past few months and seen how technology is evolving so in my mind “anything is possible”.

Firstly, this is a brilliant debut and I absolutely loved Jo’s writing. The main character is DCS Kat Frank, a newly widowed single mother who is returning to work after her husband’s death. She is tasked with running a new pilot programme which pairs AI’s with humans to solve cold cases of missing people. Kat has a major issue with anything technical and isn’t particularly happy about having to team up with AI Lock. She believes in gut instinct, experience and being able to read people’s emotions which is everything the AI Lock can’t do and is only programmed to work on logic and facts.

When two of their cold cases appear to be connected, it’s down to Lock and Kat to try to solve the case and find the missing boys.

This book is so wonderfully written. Kat’s grief for her husband and her guilt for her teenage son were raw and emotional and it was so clear that Jo was writing this story from her heart. I absolutely loved her relationship with Lock which grew throughout the pages. The humour and dialogue was fabulous and you really need to believe the hype – because it’s so fresh and original that I wasn’t able to put it down.

This is the beginning of a brilliant series and I personally can’t wait to read more from Jo.. and hopefully when I meet her again, she will sign my book and spell my name correctly this time.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

‘This has to be a strong contender for crime debut of the year – sharp, perceptive writing and a brilliant new take on the detective duo’ T. M. LOGAN
‘A fresh and intriguing detective double act – I fell hard for all-too-human Kat and her AI colleague Lock . . . a riveting cold case mystery told with compassion and verve’ LOUISE CANDLISH

‘Everything you could hope for in a thriller: heartbreaking, intelligent, deftly plotted and so original’ FIONA CUMMINS

‘Jo Callaghan makes her entry into the crowded police procedural genre with a fresh take on the buddy-buddy cop trope. In the Blink of an Eye predicts the near future when police officers and their AI counterparts will work hand-in-holographic-hand. The human-AI interactions between the lead protagonists as they pursue their quarry are illuminating and, at times, hilarious. Provocative and compelling. A TV series seems a certainty’ VASEEM KHAN

‘In the Blink of an Eye is fresh, innovative and very very clever. Flawlessly paced, plotted and researched, it’s laugh out loud, heart-achingly sad and doesn’t have a dull moment. I raced through it. Simply sensational’ M. W. CRAVEN
‘The kind of fresh and fearless debut I just adore. Wildly original, heartfelt, funny, and properly thrilling. Take a bow, Jo Callaghan’ CHRIS WHITAKER

‘I started reading this morning and ten hours later I’ve finished it! It’s so, SO good – really properly compelling, impossible to put down – I was desperate for the solution to the mystery – but so human and moving and massively thought-provoking on what makes us human’ LAURA MARSHALL

‘A standout debut with a unique and thrilling take on the detective novel. Engaging, exciting and superbly readable. I loved it’ SARAH HILARY 

‘In the Blink of An Eye captured me from the first page and kept me enthralled until the last. Jo Callaghan shakes up the police procedural with a truly original premise that is both compelling and filled with heart. Highly recommended’ OLIVIA KIERNAN

Find this book on Amazon