Title: Close My Eyes
Author: Sophie McKenzine
Release Date: July 9, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Rating: 3 out of 5
Geniver Loxley seems to live a charmed life, with a loving husband and no financial worries, but things aren’t as great as they look. Eight years ago, Gen’s daughter, Beth, was stillborn, and she’s never quite recovered from that tragedy. What’s more, she hasn’t been able to have a baby since, and she feels lost and depressed. But when a stranger comes to Gen’s door saying that Beth was actually born alive, and that she’s out there somewhere, Gen knows she must follow this trail, wherever it may lead.
Close My Eyes is a psychological thriller about one woman’s worst nightmare—the possible kidnapping of her child. Gen’s never been able to recover from Beth’s death, so when she learns that there’s even the slightest possibility that her daughter might still be alive, she can’t help but investigate. McKenzie does a great job with this aspect of the story; it’s an incredible premise, and the author develops the plot well.
Gen is a bit difficult in Close My Eyes. At the beginning, she has the reader’s full sympathies. After all, she’s had tragedy after tragedy in her life, and she just wants to be a mother. And, on top of all that, she learns that Beth might actually be alive, and that she’s been lied to all these years. It’s enough to cause anyone to have an emotional breakdown, so it’s gratifying to see that Gen can’t—and won’t—let it go. But once she starts down the path, she hesitates and hedges rather than gunning for the truth. Even once she finds proof that her suspicions are correct, she continues to doubt and accept half truths rather than seek the truth out wholeheartedly.
The pacing of Close My Eyes is also a bit strange. That is, while the storyline is gripping and readers will definitely want to see how the novel tuns out, there is little urgency to the storyline. Perhaps this is because there is no one working against Gen, but it just didn’t have that taut atmosphere of a thriller. What’s more, the romance storyline in the novel is strange and comes a bit out of left field. Readers will see it coming because it’s predictable, but it just doesn’t make a lot of sense logically.
While Close My Eyes has a great premise and an interesting storyline, there are aspects to its execution that hampered my enjoyment of it. I just could not identify with Gen, and got to the point where I found her very frustrating. If you’re interested in the novel’s premise and want to read it purely for the storyline, then you may want to pick up this book, but otherwise, it didn’t work well for me.