A Scottish journalist enters a dark online world in this unsettling novel of men, women, resentment, and rage…
Edinburgh reporter Frankie has finally been assigned a high-profile crime story about a series of sexual assaults, and relishes her big break. Her article focuses on the issue of women’s safety, which doesn’t seem to have improved much since the era of the Yorkshire Ripper.
When she faces a torrent of abuse online, it leads her to discover the phenomenon of incels— and puts her in the sights of those trying to stop her covering the story. But she refuses to back down. What she doesn’t realise is that in this murky online world, one man is being goaded into a spectacular and shocking attack with Frankie as his main target…
I am delighted to be taking my turn on the blog tour for Open Your Eyes by Heather Fitt. My thanks to the author for inviting me to review her book and for providing me with a digital copy of the book for this purpose. I have reviewed the book honestly and impartially.
The world is becoming an ever more frightening place for women at the moment. Rights we thought had been secured decades ago are being rolled back before our eyes. There are daily stories in the news of women being attacked as they walk the streets. Even in the corridors of our Government, men are being accused regularly of inappropriate sexual behaviour. People try and tell us that we have equality in the modern world but a glance around will tell you it is simply not true. This is the stage upon which Heather Fitt has released this book, a book which is extremely relevant in this time, which is why I volunteered to review it.
Heather is exploring the world of extreme misogyny and the incel in this novel. A murky, online world of men who hide in the shadows spouting hate against women and making threats of terrible violence against them. They are the people who pop up on Twitter making threats against politicians and activists who dare to espouse any feminist ideas or campaign for changes to laws which might better protect us, and sometimes their threats actually become actions with terrible consequences. It is a frightening phenomenon that has developed as social media has taken hold of the world and forms the basis for the story that unfolds on these pages.
I thought the plot Heather has constructed here to explore this issue was really well constructed and compelling. A journalist writes an innocuous piece for Valentine’s Day which leads her down an unexpected path of being exposed to and exploring this community of extreme misogyny and becoming a target of it. The book is really well paced, the characters engaging and the subject matter fresh and startling. I read this cover to cover in a single sitting in around three hours because I was so engrossed in the story. There isn’t a much greater endorsement than that.
One small issue I had with the book was the way it ended and what happened to one particular character. I was not convinced that this character would have gone down the route they did so quickly, it just didn’t seem to fit with who they had been, or seemed to have been becoming, throughout the rest of the story and it just sat awkwardly at the end. That aside, it did not detract from my enjoyment of the rest of the book or my eagerness to recommend it as something different and interesting to read. Pick up a copy if you are looking for a book exploring something unusual and relevant.
Open Your Eyes is out now in paperback and ebook formats, and also as part of the Kindle Unlimited programme. You can buy a copy here.
Please do follow the rest of the tour:
About the Author
Heather was born in Scotland and after moving around Europe with her parents and sister, settled in Hampshire where she met her husband, Stuart.
After leaving the rat-race in 2018, Heather re-trained as an editor and proof-reader and entered the world of publishing. These days she works as a part-time freelancer and a part-time Commissioning Advisor for Bloodhound.
Heather was inspired to start writing her novel by the authors who have become her closest friends. Now the ideas are flowing she has plans to write several more over the coming years.
When she isn’t reading, Heather enjoys spending her time watching sport – especially her beloved rugby – and exploring the British countryside with Stuart.
Heather’s debut novel will be published by Bloodhound in Summer 2021.
Connect with Heather: