One Eye Open by Paul Finch #bookreview

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the new standalone novel by Paul Finch, One Eye Open today on my blog.

One Eye Open: 2020’s must-read standalone from the Sunday Times bestseller! by [Paul Finch]



A high-speed crash leaves a man and woman clinging to life.
Neither of them carries ID. Their car has fake number plates.
In their luggage: a huge amount of cash.
Who are they? What are they hiding?
And what were they running from?


DS Lynda Hagen, once a brilliant detective, gave it all up to raise her family.
But something about this case reignites a spark in her…


What begins as an investigation soon becomes an obsession.
And it will lead her to a secret so dangerous that soon there will be nowhere left to hide.



I was really intrigued when I noticed that Paul Finch had a standalone novel coming out. I’m a huge fan of his DS Mark Heckenburg and DC Lucy Clayburn series, so I jumped at the chance to read One Eye Open. The thing which sparked my interest for me very early on in this book is that it is set fairly local to me. I travel down the A12 near enough every day. It came as a surprise to me when this became the setting of the crime scene. The star of Paul Finch’s new series, DS Lynda Hagen, responds to a horrific accident that has taken place on this road. The people involved in the accident are close to death but are rushed to hospital. As the investigation into what happened to them heats up, it becomes clear to Lynda and her team that this is part of something far more complex.

Paul Finch takes a different approach with this book. As the investigation begins, Paul Finch takes us back in time as he explores the lead up to the devastating crash. We begin to understand who the victims are and why they ended up in this state. This is what made this book really intriguing for me. We can begin to see the motives that are at play here.

I really liked DS Lynda Hagen. To me, she seemed like a breath of fresh air. She gave up working in the police force many years ago to raise a family, and when she met her husband, also a police officer, they both transferred to different forces. Lynda is now working with the traffic team. But as it becomes clear that there is something far darker at play here, she begins to reminisce about the old days, and she pushes herself further than is needed. This doesn’t go down too well with her bosses, especially when Scotland Yard is called in to help deal with the case.

Paul Finch also explored Lynda’s relationship with her husband really well. Like Lynda, he was also a police officer, but his career is now over, and he is trying to make it as a true-crime writer. Although frustrations are boiling over for him when it seems that there is little interest from editors in the book he has written.

There are some tense action scenes throughout the book, which is something I’ve come to expect from a novel by Paul Finch. It’s what always makes his book really exciting for me and he keeps me utterly gripped. He never gives his characters an easy ride.

I’d highly recommend One Eye Open. If I could, I would easily give it more than five stars; I’m sure it’ll be in my top ten reads at the end of the year. I hope that Paul Finch returns to Lynda Hagen in the future. If you’re a fan of this author, then you definitely need to check this book out!

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 20th August 2020

Print length: 340 pages

One Eye Open is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones