Close My Eyes - Sophie McKenzie The first dead body should never take 100 pages to show up.

I received Close My Eyes through Goodreads First Reads Program. I love getting books this way as I end up reading things I wouldn’t normally pick up and I haven’t bothered with too many psychological thrillers or mysteries lately. Not since I got sick of all the Jonathen Kellerman novels I was picking up at used book stores for $0.50ea.

Close My Eyes is about a woman who believes her baby was stillborn until eight years later when a mysterious woman shows up on her front step and tells her that her baby was actually born alive. Geniver searches for her child without the support of her family and friends and along the way uncovers some very dark secrets.

My biggest issue with this book is how long it took for anything to happen that grabbed my attention. I struggled my way through 100 pages of snooze. I had a lot of trouble identifying with Gen. Her grief over the child she lost is a totally foreign concept to me, and I can’t understand why she let a single event in her life, no matter how tragic, completely destroy her (but I’m also not a mom and don’t have any want to become one, so perhaps that is why).

Gen’s obsession with Beth, her general mistrust of everyone around her and her weak personality just tuckered me out. I kind of wanted to smack her… I don’t think she showed even a spark of personality until her first conversation with Lorcan 110 pages in. She was boring, weak willed, and didn’t really DO anything.

The relationship between Gen and Art was also strange for me. He was a very bland character, and even though he should have been he wasn’t a very strong presence in the book. He’s also a dickhead. I think their entire relationship and Art’s character should have been set up differently because I had a LOT of trouble understanding the weird loyalty she had towards Art. Their relationship was such a dead fish. I actually laughed out loud when she has trouble believing Art would EVER have an affair and yet she has accused the man of pretending their baby is dead in some elaborate scheme to steal her away.

And the names! I hated the names. It started with Geniver. Every time I would see that name I would cringe. And then I thought about the other characters: Hen, Art, LORCAN! LORCAN!?

So after all that bitching, why am I giving it a 3 star rating. Well…I can’t do a 2.5 and I didn’t hate the book. It got a lot better a little over 100 pages in. Geniver stops being such a damp napkin and we stop having to deal with Art being a complete tool as often. Lorcan is also a decent character who gives Gen the strength to act instead of just fretting. The writing in the book isn’t bad either, I just think the characters all need some work.

Close My Eyes did kind of remind me of a Jonathen Kellerman novel. There were some pretty good twists and revelations that you don’t see coming (especially the Epilogue). The second half of the book has guns, murder, betrayal, kidnapping, evil plots and one great big horrible bitch of an antagonist.

I think the author could trim the book by about 100 pages though (and no I don’t mean just cut out the start of the book) because there was a lot of unnecessary crap throughout. I didn’t hate the story but it wasn’t great. I didn’t really care for many characters. It was just MEH.