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Close My Eyes

By Sophie McKenzie

Close My Eyes

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Sue Braun (07/12/13)

Close My Eyes
In her first adult novel and her first to be published in the USA, McKenzie vividly brings us every couple's nightmare. Not just the loss of a child after a much wanted and anticipated pregnancy that is essentially without complication to the heartbreaking and sudden delivery of a stillborn child. Not just a stillborn child but one who is reportedly so disfigured and misshapen that her very presence is hidden from the mother both at the hospital and later the funeral. The pain of a loss like this is overpowering and especially so as there can be no closure. The hopes, dreams and desires that accompany the birth of a child are suddenly dashed and ripped away without ceremony and the pain felt is akin to that of a missing limb for the mother. A pain, that unless one has experienced it themselves is inconceivable to friends, family and even the spouse. Pain that Geniver, the mother in question will never quite overcome no matter what therapy, support or encouragement she gets from the outside world. She has only to look in the mirror to see the results of that experience.

Fast forward 8 years. Her husband feels compelled that they visit a fertility expert to recapture what they lost and begins to apply pressure in this pursuit, refusing to concede and acknowledge what his wife and partner is still experiencing. A knock at the door brings it all back tenfold when a woman appears with a deathbed confession of her sister's that confirms the nagging suspicions that Geniver has felt. Her child IS alive and to make matters worse her husband has known this all along. While friends and family try to convince her that this is nothing more than a scheme to extort money from her the woman is the victim of a hit and run accident which only helps to fuel a paranoia that causes Geniver to question everyone and everything in her life. When a former friend of her husband's listens and offers to help her get to the bottom of the accusations, she embarks on a game worthy of some of the greatest English mystery writers of the past.

With shades of "Gaslight", "Bunny Lake is Missing" and a tip of the hat to "The Other and The Omen", Ms Mckenzie builds a maze of a mystery that would have attracted Hitchcock. I encourage readers to push past the beginning of what appears to be simply another example of "chick lit" or a soap opera and give in as we watch Geniver's life simultaneously spiral out of control and back again. While all have tried to make her feel inept and weak, we watch and cheer as she gains the strength to push forward to go beyond the smoke and mirrors to the spine tingling chilling last page. You won't be disappointed. One can only hope this is not the lone attempt by Ms. McKenzie in adult literature and we have many more to look forward to in the future.
Tracy B. (New Castle, DE) (05/14/13)

Two stories in one
Just who is writing The Special Child story? Is it a strange story that Gen in writing? She is an author.That in itself is a morbid twist.

Art is Gen's wealthy husband. Is he keeping a secret? What really happened to baby Beth? Gen & Lorcan are trying to cast off depressing & difficult pasts, or so we think. In this process they join together in the search for Beth. But just when you think you have figured out who you can trust it all changes again and again and again. Wonderful!
Marta M. (Santa Ana, CA) (05/11/13)

Good beach read
I enjoyed reading "Close My Eyes". It kept me reading even though I wanted to go to sleep. It moves quickly and I wanted to be the main character's best friend. It is a book you think about long after it has been read. I don't usually read many thrillers, but I would if they were as well written as this one.
Shirley F. (Franksville, WI) (05/09/13)

Chills and thrills
Close my eyes will probably be this year's Gone Girl because it is a psychological thriller but not as dark. It took me a while to get into the book, and I thought Gen was whiny and a little obsessive about the loss of the child 8 yrs previously. Art was too intense for me and I felt he pressed the IVF issue rather than letting Gen accept it. There were a lot of twists in the story and when I thought that I had it figured out, realized that there was more info to be had which changed my ideas. The diary writing and thought processing seemed too mature for the child to write. It was intriguing, painfully sad, and a little contrived but it had all the elements of a good story and will certainly appeal to a wide range of book groups.
Lisa B. (Denton, TX) (05/08/13)

Kept me on the edge of my seat
This story of Geniver and the mystery surrounding the death of her baby 8 years before was impossible to put down. It was difficult tell if she was losing her mind or if someone close to her was deceiving her. The comparisons to Gone Girl and Before I go to Sleep are spot on.
Susan P. (Boston, MA) (05/07/13)

Close My Eyes
A London woman very close to the end of her childbearing years still cannot forget her stillborn child from 8 years ago and is not sure whether she wants to keep trying IVF, as her husband wants. Then a stranger tells her that her child is alive. The news sends her into an obsessive hunt of trying to find the truth (good or bad) and trying to know whom to trust. An excellent page turner for readers of Rosamund Lupton, S. J. Watson, etc.
Carol N. (San Jose, CA) (05/01/13)

Close My Eyes
What a ride! This psychological thriller deals with the ultimate betrayal. Filled with paranoia and confusion, this plot drags you in and keeps you engaged until the end. What a twisted road, the main character, Geniver, travels – from the lost of her only child at birth to 8 years later when a stranger tells her that her husband has betrayed her. The child is alive and well, but hidden. Who does one trust? Geniver searches for her child without the support of her family or close friends and along the way uncovers some very dark secrets. What she learns horrifies her. . . . what is her husband hiding? As she continues to delve into their past, she finds the answers to her questions...answers that will change her life forever. With a surprise ending one doesn't see coming, this author weaves a breathless thriller that kept this reader reading well into the night.
Darlene C. (Simpsonville, SC) (04/30/13)

Close My Eyes by Sophie Mckenzie
I really enjoyed this book and any comparison to Gyllian Flynn's "Gone Girl" would be right on the money. The story line is different but the slow build, and the unpredictable twists and turns that get you hooked and unable to put the book down, are the same. Even if you're savvy enough to figure out who...the why will keep you riveted to the end. If you're a new reader or a long time reader (who can easily predict plots), this is a great read. You WILL be surprised! Bravo!

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