CLOSE MY EYES
Published by Simon & Schuster in May 2013
About the Book:
It's been eight years since Gen Loxley lost her daughter, Beth: eight years of grief in which nothing's really moved forward, for all that her husband, Art, wills it to. Gen, once a writer of novels, has settled in to a life of half-hearted teaching, while Art makes his name and their fortune - and pressures her into trying IVF once again. For Gen, it seems a cruel act of replacement; life without Beth is unthinkable, unbearable - but still it goes on. And then a woman arrives on Gen's doorstep, saying the very thing she longs to hear: that her daughter was not stillborn, but was spirited away as a healthy child, and is out there, waiting to be found.... So why is Art reluctant to get involved? To save his wife from further hurt? Or something much more sinister? What is the truth about Beth Loxley?
"Once an idea has been planted in your head, you can't just toss it out again. You have to follow it through to the end."
After six failed IVF attempts, Gen is reluctant to try again though her husband, Art, is still hopeful that it will work. Spoken in the first person by Gen, she feels inadequate compared to Art's successful business and she is still mourning the loss of her daughter, Beth, who was born dead eight years ago.
Art is kind, smart, shrewd and completely driven, while Beth is just going through the motions of everyday life.
When a middle aged woman turns up at their home and tells Gen an unbelievable story of her baby daughter being born alive and taken away by the doctor, she clings to the hope that Beth could be alive, but Art refuses to believe the story and tries to persuade Gen that the woman is lying.
"I know Art's is the logical way forward but I want to believe the impossible. I want to believe that Beth is out there somewhere, waiting for me to find her."
Then an old colleague of Art's, Irishman Lorcan Byrne, comes back on the scene and he decides to help Gen in her search, much to Art's disgust. Both Gen's best friend and Art think that Gen is becoming obsessed and may even be going mad.
As the story moves forward, we only know what's going on inside Gen's head, not anyone else's and this helps to keep the suspense going. Just when I thought it was going in one direction the author does a great job of taking me into another completely different and unexpected direction. I certainly never guessed the ending. I suspected everyone at one point!
The characters were all believable, especially Gen, I really felt for her. I thought the storyline was unpredictable, clever and enjoyable.
Whilst reading the novel, I was reminded of the brilliant psychological thriller, Little Face by Sophie Hannah, also told in the first person, and one of my favourite reads.
If you enjoy a good psychological thriller please put this on your to read list, I don't think you will be disappointed.
Special Thanks to the publishers for sending me this book in exchange for an unbiased review.