In the UK, someone is reported missing every 90 seconds. Just gone. Vanished. In the blink of an eye.
Jo Callaghan ~ 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?
Wow. Just wow. Much as I love a crime novel, the market is flooded and it’s hard to find one that really stands out. Enter Jo Callaghan.
In her book, In the Blink of an Eye, we are introduced to the usual tetchy female detective Kat, who returns to work and is given a new partner: AIDE (Artificially Intelligent Detective Entity) Lock. Unsurprisingly, Kat is far from impressed, as she knows that human intuition is imperative in police work.
I’m still thinking about this book. It’s such a fresh idea and worked fantastically. We see the incredible power of AI in reviewing case notes, researching ideas and trawling social media for clues at the same time we see that compassion, gut feelings and empathy are still important.
The development of AIDE Lock as the technology learns how to act more ‘human’ is fascinating. I am no expert, but it seemed realistic in its design and application, especially the relationship that develops between Lock and Kat as time goes by.
It’s also interesting to see how Kat’s son reacts and interacts with Lock, something that seems to mend their fractured relationship as they share this bizarre experience together. Professor Okonedo also adds to the dynamic, providing additional insight into police procedure and how they work with other organisations. Her own history really adds to the story as we see the issues that remain within many institutions in the UK.
Outside of the technological marvel, there is a strong crime story with good characters, and events that are sad, shocking and surprising; at times we all but forget Lock is not human, until he acts in a particularly unfeeling, robotic way towards someone who has just received bad news. The dynamic is incredible, but also makes you wonder just what will happen in the future as technology continues to evolve.
This book is well-written, fast paced and gripping. An absolutely astounding debut.
I’m so glad that this is the start of a series and am looking forward to seeing this unique partnership flourish and flounder in the next book.
Thanks to Simon & Schuster for my proof copy. Opinions my own.