The Fugitive Eye

The Fugitive Eye - Charlotte Jay Charlotte Jay does a very good job of creating a conspiracy theory-driven plot in this novel. Ian Kane goes driving through the countryside one night after a fight with his wife, and somehow ends up sleeping on the ground some distance from his car. He wakes up and sees through some bushes two men burying a large sack with what can only be a dead body inside it. Kane sneaks away and finds his car, but when he is driving back toward home, he passes a car parked in the road that belongs to the men who were buring the body, and they see him looking at the car as he drives slowly past. What follows is a car accident, and Kane ends up needing eye surgery with only a 50 percent chance of regaining sight in his one good eye (he completely lost sight in the other one in the war). Kane is naturally afraid of being permanently blind, and gets a little paranoid, not trusting his doctor or anyone else. He is transfered to a nursing home in the country until he can take off the bandages and find out if his sight will return or not. All the trouble begins on the drive to the nursing home...

The next section of the book kept giving me flashbacks to watching the movie of Steven King's Misery as a teenager. The house that Kane is taken to and the surrounding country are sufficiently creepy. The reader is led to suspect Kane's fears may be groundless, and he even doubts his own insticts at times, but other events prove that he must be right.

The story is mostly told from a third person close point of view, with all the information we get filtered through Kane's POV. Therefore, we quickly figure out that in the two or three times there are scenes presented that Kane could not actually be aware of, he is imagining what he thinks happened. The author strays from this pattern once, toward the end of the book, with the long section showing what happens after Peter Marsh goes for help. At first, I thought Kane was imagining that too, but it quickly proves not to be the case.

The ending was a little disappointing, since not all the "bad guys" are caught, but it is more like real life, where people with money sometimes get prefferential treatment, even if the law says they shouldn't. Poor Peter. I was very sad about what happened to him.

The story was a little confusing as to whether the "bad guys" really were Russian spies, or just what they were kidnapping people for. Also, unless I missed something, Kane reads in the newspaper about someone he used to know, who maybe was supposed to be dead, suddenly showing up, and then that subject is dropped. I really statred thinking, in true conspiracy theory fashion, that maybe Kane's vision was fine all along, and they only made up that he had surgery and would possibly be blind, and that his sight in the one eye was fine all along. I became quite attached to that theory, and was kind of disappointed that it didn't turn out to be the case. However, I really liked the eerie feeling that pervades the whole novel, and I thought Jay used just the right amount of creepieness to set the right tone.