About the Book

“This bruising story is less a murder mystery than an unflinching look at a culture and community.” 
— Kirkus Reviews

Martha Burns Blind Eye book cover

Blind Eye is set in the rugged ranching territory of Southeastern New Mexico in the Hondo Valley. It opens on a blistering hot summer afternoon when Lincoln County Deputy Greenwood is called out to the remote Bounty County Ranch to investigate a missing ranch family. The ranch is owned by Sam Duff, a celebrity TV news broadcaster. Duff’s ranch foreman, the foreman’s wife, a young boy, and a young girl are missing. Deputy Greenwood discovers the bodies of two adults in a manure pit behind the barn and calls in crime scene investigators. It is learned that the girl is staying with an uncle and aunt, but the fourteen-year-old boy, Leeland, is missing. Greenwood, who is part of this community suspects that Leeland murdered his father and stepmother. 

The novel then steps back in time to reveal the story of Leeland’s cruel and violent upbringing.

In the closing pages of the novel Deputy Greenwood locates Leeland who is staying with the family of a friend. This family is protecting him even as they too suspect him of having murdered his father and stepmother. Under pressure from the local D.A. Greenwood takes Leeland to a safe house to obtain his confession even though he knows that This is no way to break a boy. 

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This bruising story is less a murder mystery than an unflinching look at a culture and community.

— Kirkus Reviews

BLIND EYE left me gutted. Its victims and perpetrators haunt the mind long after the pages have turned, Leeland Pruitt in particular, his shattered boyhood, his tenuous future. Burns’s artfully simple prose is a gateway to dimensions of character and setting that few writers access so keenly. Far more than a whodunnit, Blind Eye is a novel about our burden of responsibility to one another, and nobody leaves the story unscathed, the reader included. 

Doug Kurtz, The Story Coach

“An engrossing crime tale that would make a lean and mean movie.”

— Kirkus Reviews

What does a boy do when things go bad at home? Who does he tell when things grow worse? Leeland didn’t tell anyone–or did he? BLIND EYE tells the story of Leeland’s life on a remote ranch in New Mexico. No one paid attention to what he couldn’t say. Would you have listened?

Candace Simar, Spur Award-winning author of The Abercrombie Trail Series 

Praise for Martha’s Other Writing: 

“Something Rotten,” which won the William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition in Short Fiction, displays Martha Burns’s gifts as a writer: acute observation, layered characterization, seamless integration of conflict with setting, and unobtrusive but eloquent phrasing.”

 – John Biguenet, Award Winning Author and Playwright