Blink & Caution
by Tim Wynne-Jones
ISBN: 978 0 7636 3983 9
Blink has left his home and abusive stepfather behind, and is scraping by – barely – by snitching breakfasts in fancy hotels, and sleeping in a squat. One morning is different, though, and after he witnesses a bizarre staged kidnapping, he feels compelled to grab the discarded cell phone involved, and contacts the “victim’s” daughter, who wants his help tracking down her dad. Oddly, he agrees, and heads for the train station, where he collides with Caution.
Caution is running away from a horrible thing and punishing herself for it at the same time, most recently by giving herself over to a possessive, violent drug dealer. She finally realizes he’s playing her for a fool and takes her revenge, then runs to her cousin to hide. She finds out a bit about that event she can’t face, but is still not ready to deal. When she swipes Blink’s money at the train station, she suddenly feels bad about it and hops on the train with him, and the two find themselves in it together.
Blink & Caution meet up with the above-mentioned daughter, and follow her hunch to a cabin where the father and his henchmen are hiding out during his “kidnapping,” and are none too pleased to discover the teens snooping around their plans. The two find out what’s behind the staged capture, and at this point, there is some real peril and tension, as there is serious business at stake.
Promotional material promises a tight, suspenseful thrill ride, which I didn’t think this was, entirely. There was tense moments and some action-filled parts, but there was also way more character development than you get in a thriller, and it does slow things a little. Of course, it also made me care more about the outcome and find their friendship one I was rooting for. The ending takes the pair to a conclusion that satisfies and, even though it may look a little pat in outline form, gives enough explanation to make a reader happy to see them get there. Though not quite the wild ride the copy suggested, I really enjoyed the relationship that develops, the thorough explanation of the underlying hoax, and the casting of two homeless runaways as good, smart kids reacting to bad situations – you just don’t always get this much depth, which makes it a very worthwhile read.
Also available as an ebook.