Monday, 15 May 2017

Book Review: The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer

The Shut EyeThe Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved The Shut Eye from the start. Belinda Bauer has a knack of writing witty, clever and downright funny novels that also manage to be macabre crime/murder mysteries. The themes which run through most of her novels are always dark - here, abduction and missing children - decidedly difficult to pull off when at so many points in the text, her bizarre observations make you smile. But Bauer cracks it! She has a rare ability to describe the details of human behaviour and character in a quirky manner that cuts to the quick.

A small boy, Daniel, has been missing for four months and his mother, Anna, is desperate. She has a husband who has given up hope and who she can never forgive, as he was the one who 'left the door open'. Anna obsessively polishes her son's final footprints in the cement outside their house, as though they are religious relics. She can't bear to give up hope and turns to a medium (even though he appears to be a charlatan) at the local church.

When a twelve-year-old girl, Edie, went missing a year ago, DCI Marvel failed to find her. He's been living in the shadows ever since and has been taken off her case. Instead, he's been asked by the Super to find his wife's dog. Marvel is feeling disgruntled and desperate to prove himself, sensing potential leverage and a promotion in the air.

Anna starts becoming delusional, struggling to stay on the right side of sanity. A number of readers have frowned on the psychic element in the plot, but I think it's handled well, treading the fine line between mental illness and perceived psychic phenomena. Marvel too, is able to 'see' something afresh and the three cases become linked together. Suddenly, Marvel isn't sure which case he's working on - all he knows is he's all out to outsmart everyone and solve a case - any case.

The author's emotional responses are spot on, especially when dealing with Marvel's interior world. He is beautifully presented as the downtrodden, cheesed-off copper, who finds everyone very irritating and just wants to get some credit, for once.

Readers, sit back and enjoy the stylish quality writing - and authors, if you want to learn how to write with an original voice - give Belinda Bauer a go!

View all my reviews
AJ Waines is an International Bestselling Author of Psychological Thrillers 

  •  Over 400,000 books sold worldwide
  • Girl on a Train  a Number One Bestseller on Kindle in UK and Australia (2015 & 2016) 
  • Awarded Kindle KDP Top 10 'most-read Author' in UK 2016 & 2017
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