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belinda-bauer-the-shut-eyeReleased: March 2015

If you’ve read some of my other reviews, you’ll know by now that I’m a sucker for a good thriller, so naturally I loved The Shut Eye by award-wining author Belinda Bauer.

Having said that, this novel is a bit more than just a straightforward murder mystery as it sees the measured world of police detectives and crime scene investigation collide with the ethereal and unfathomable world of psychics.

The Shut Eye tells the story of the Buck family left broken in the wake of the disappearance of their little boy, Daniel. His father, James Buck, is to blame but has buried his feelings in his work as a mechanic. But his wife, Anna, turns up on the forecourt of the garage every day to polish the five footprints preserved in the cement, which is all they have left to prove that he was ever alive.

Desperate to know what happened, when a psychic offers Anna help, she jumps at the chance, but the question is, is he preying on the vulnerable or does he really have a chance of finding Daniel?

The Shut Eye moves at breakneck speed from the first page, and I found myself at the end of a book before I even knew it. Part of this is down to Bauer weaving in the disappearance of another child and a dog which are suspected to be connected, as well as the personal lives of both the family and the investigator which keeps the reader alert and on their toes as they’re bombarded with information.

What I loved most about this novel is that although the main mystery is solved by the final page (not a real spoiler as you’ll never see it coming), not every loose end is tied up, and I spent the last ten pages of the novel reading with my mouth open in horror. Suspending your belief to incorporate psychics and visions is a bit of a challenge to start with, but the cynicism of DCI Marvel somewhat softens the blow.

The only criticism I have for this thriller is that it’s a little bit clichéd at the beginning ­with the slightly mad, grieving mother, an emotionally detached father, and an egotistical investigator. But stick with it because the best is yet to come.

★★★★★

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