A prologue that pulls you in and a storyline that doesn’t let you go until the very last page.
The story begins in London in 2005, a few months before the 7/7 bus and Tube bombings. Georgie agrees to have sex with Julian, her close friend from their university days. Wary of relationships after previous heartbreak, she is shocked when Julian reveals he has loved her for a long time but felt unable to tell her.
Soon afterwards Georgie meets Nikolai, an ex-soldier recently arrived from Russia. Despite her misgivings, she can’t resist him; Julian, jealous of his perceived rival, struggles to deal with Georgie’s rejection. Georgie begins to realise how deeply war-time incidents in Chechnya have affected Nikolai, and wonders what terrible thing the Russian is hiding from her.
Then London is attacked. In the climate of anxiety and suspicion post-7/7, Georgie must work out who she can trust and who she should fear, before it’s too late.
Blind Side explores love and friendship, guilt and betrayal, secrets and obsession. How well we can ever really know anyone? And what should we do if we find out that the unthinkable has happened? An explosive, debate-provoking thriller that confronts urgent issues of our times and contemplates some of our deepest fears.
This is such a thought-provoking read; pitched as ‘a thriller about a love triangle set in London before and after 7/7’ – it is that and so much more. In today’s society, the war on terror is a very real thing and Blind Side tells a compelling story that grips you in a unique way.
Georgie loses her close friend Julian in one night, when she doesn’t share his feeling of love, their friendship becomes impossible. However, Julian refuses to let Georgie go and will be damned if he’s going to see her in the arms of another man. This presents a real problem when Georgie meets and begins dating Nikolai. Julian feels betrayed and the more Georgie tries to distance herself from him, the more possessive he becomes.
Georgie’s relationship with Nikolai is in its early stages, she hasn’t felt this happy in a long time and she’s enjoying getting to know him. However, she is convinced he is keeping secrets from her. She knows he was solider in Russia and he fought in the war in Chechnya; she sees his pain when he talks of his experiences of war. Living in London illegally, is Nikolai running away from the trauma of his past or is he here for more sinister reasons?
Right up until the end of the book, we are left guessing what Nikolai’s (and Julian’s) true intentions are; I felt this was an accurate reflection of July’s 2005 London, tension and anxiety were running high, nobody knew who they could trust, nobody was sure, everyone was a suspect.
The characters of Georgie and Nikolai are extremely well developed and the setting perfect – living not too far from where these attacks took place, I feel Ensor really captured the true atmosphere that stretched across London at that time; the distrust was ripe, the fear was real.
I found it particularly thought-provoking reading about Nikolai’s experiences as a solider in the Chechen war, you really begin thinking about the realities of war and terrorism, people’s attitudes and how they treat each other in the aftermath. Ensor has written a beautiful, well thought out and well researched story. A difficult read, in the sense that it touches on some very real issues, and really gets you thinking about society; a book that will stay with you long after reading it.
*I received a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
This book is available to buy now from: Amazon UK