CLOSE MY EYES

Written by Sophie McKenzie

Review written by Sue Lord


CLOSE MY EYES
Simon & Schuster
RRP: £6.99
Released: 9th May 2013
Pbk

Geniver Loxley gave birth to a dead baby eight years ago and she has never recovered from her loss. Years of failed IVF attempts have worn her down but her husband Art, is pressuring her to try again. Gen, who was an author before the death of her child, is teaching creative writing part time. Art is a very successful businessman, ambitious and single minded. They love each other and live a very comfortable life.

Then, Lucy O’Donnell comes to the door and tells Geniver that her baby was not born dead. Stunned, Gen doesn’t know what to think. It seems there was a conspiracy to smuggle the baby from the maternity home, but how and above all, why? No-one takes Gen seriously, Art and her best friend Hen, think that she should see a therapist. Lucy is killed in a hit and run accident, but was it an accident? Enter Lorcan Byrne a man from Art’s past and an ally for Gen. Lucy's husband turns up, he too wants some answers. It seems that Gen can't rely on any of the people that are close to her, especially Art but she is determined to find the truth.

The plot is intricate and well executed, the characters and characterisation is, on the whole, good. The story is full of surprises, twists and turns as Gen and Lorcan search for the child, and the ending … It’s chilling.

Sophie McKenzie has written fifteen novels for children and teenagers and this is her first adult book. There is at times an echo of this genre, I hope the next one loses this because Close My Eyes is a compelling read. I have to confess that on reading the first chapters my heart sank … yet “another dead baby” novel. It is a slow burn at the beginning, but persevere, sparks fly. I definitely want to read the next novel by Sophie McKenzie.

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