The Shut Eye is a unique and haunting police procedural
The Shut Eye
by Belinda Bauer
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date: January 12, 2016
The Shut Eye is an unusual police procedural, made all the more memorable by the ways it deviates from the norm. It is a tale of loss, and a haunting reminder of how destructive not knowing can be.
Five months ago, James and Anna's son Daniel disappeared without a trace. The loss has driven Anna nearly insane. Each day she scours the footprints left in cement, the last indication of his existence. She cleans them obsessively, to protect them. Her desire for hope draws her to church, where she meets a psychic. He refuses to help, but after the meeting Anna begins having visions about a young girl.
Edie disappeared over a year earlier. The case is long without leads, but Detective Inspector Marvel refuses to give up. He is obsessed with discovering what happened to the little girl, even though his Super wants the case closed. Anna may be mad, but she may be his only hope of uncovering what happened to Edie.
Part of what makes the novel so devastatingly effective is that Anna is so believable. Losing a young child, not knowing whether he is alive or dead – her madness is understandable. Another part is the nature of the culprit. His lack of knowledge and understanding leads him to do things that are terrible. On one level he doesn't know his actions are wrong, and on another level his ignorance, guilt and fear prevent him from doing what is right. It makes the novel even more tragic. Detective Inspector Marvel, while not the most likable individual, is realistic, clearly affected by the nature of his job. He is without doubt dedicated to solving the case, regardless of its affect on his career.
The psychic aspect of the novel is well integrated into the plot. Even if you don't believe in psychics, you will have no problem with their role in the novel.
The Shut Eye is a thriller more about the effects of crime on the people involved than the crime itself. It is a haunting novel that leaves the reader with mixed emotions. Belinda Bauer is a skilled crime writer.
I received a copy of The Shut Eye from Grove Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Belinda Bauer is a phenomenal voice in British crime fiction, whose work has garnered rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. The Shut Eye is a spine-tingling, edge-of-your-seat thriller about a woman who gets involved with a psychic who may be able to find her missing son. Five footprints are the only sign that four-year-old Daniel Buck was ever here. And now they are all his mother has left. Every day, Anna Buck guards the little prints in the cement. Polishing them to a shine. Keeping them safe. Spiraling towards insanity. Anna is desperate for hope, which she’s not getting from the police, or her husband James. So when a woman tells her she’s found a true psychic, a “shut eye,” she grasps at it. Maybe he can tell her what happened to her son. But when she meets the psychic, what she gets is not at all what she suspected. Matching breathtaking suspense with a keen exploration of skepticism in the face of the unexplainable, The Shut Eye is a riveting read from one of our finest crime writers.