Looking for something to read over the weekend?
Nothing on your book radar that is screaming “read me!”?
Check out my Friday Favorite – it may not be new, it may not even be by an author you have ever heard of, but it will be a book that has captured both my imagination and my heart.
The Shut Eye was the second book I had ever read by Belinda Bauer. It was one of those reads where I could not stand to be interrupted. I wanted to be dropped on a desert island, complete with wine and cheese of course, until I had finished it.
It was eight thirty-seven, and he had done the same thing less than a minute earlier. He had promised Debbie he would be home by nine. Normally it wouldn’tmatter, but tonight it did, though he wasn’t sure why.
He felt the cold invade his lungs as he stared up at the dome of light that masked the stars. Frost hung in an ethereal ring around the street lamp, waiting to settle and Marvel could feel it fingeringhis shins through the thin material of his trousers.
He didn’t like to be outdoors. It was too . . . fresh. Even here, where London had sprawled south, overlapping the river and coating what used to be the Garden of England with its grime and its traffic and its smell of decay.
Marvel had started to sprawl with it: too much home cooking.
Too much home.
Comfort had always made him restless. He needed to be always moving on, moving up, otherwise he got frustrated.
Now he looked across the road to the King’s Arms. It wasfilled with warmth and noise and booze. It had been more than a year since he’d been there – been drunk – and he still missed it like a lover, with a yearn in his chest and a dry lump in his throat. He wouldn’t have gone in tonight. Or any night. It was a test – a game he played with himself. Driving past, slowing down, craning to look.
But tonight he’d stopped. He didn’t know why. He was no more thirsty than on any of the other four hundred days since he had had a drink.
And then he’dseen the woman.
THE BLURB: Five footprints are the only sign that 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. Spiralling towards insanity.
When a psychic offers hope, Anna grasps it. Who wouldn’t? Maybe he can tell her what happened to her son…
But is this man what he claims to be? Is he a visionary? A shut eye? Or a cruel fake, preying on the vulnerable?
Or is he something far, far worse?
MY THOUGHTS: Belinda Bauer has been elevated onto my favorite author list after this, the second of her books I have read.
“She drifted between sleep and this whatever it was. She hoped it wasn’t death, because death should be better than this.”
I became completely immersed in this book. I laughed, I cried, I gasped, I held my breath.
I finished it at the hairdressers, had another one lined up behind it to start, but couldn’t stop thinking about The Shut-Eye, and the characters contained within.
DCI John Marvel has the unenviable knack of rubbing everyone up the wrong way. He is a throwback who doesn’t fit the modern police profile, peopled by those with degrees and vegetarian lesbians. he doesn’t make the right friends, say the right things or kiss the right arses.
When his boss pulls him off a murder case to investigate the disappearance of his wife’s apricot poodle, Marvel is at first incensed, then sees it as an opportunity to obtain some leverage for promotion.
While investigating, he meets Anna Buck, who has been bat-shit crazy since the disappearance of her 4 year old son Daniel. She has begun having visions and is convinced that they are in some way related to the disappearance of Mitzi the poodle, and that if she can get the poodle found, karma will ensure the return of Daniel.
And mixed up in all this is the unsolved case of Edie, the space crazy girl who disappeared on her way to school one day, and had not been seen since; the case that haunts DCI Marvel.
I think it will be a long time before I forget DCI Marvel, Anna or her husband James, or the missing children Daniel and Edie.
A truly gripping read.
Thank you to NetGalley, Random House UK, Transworld Publishers, and author Belinda Bauer for the gift of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.
This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1282945262