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Saturday, 8 October 2011

Close Your Eyes by Amanda Eyre

'Electrifying, a literary whodunit of the first order!You won't be able to look away. People will be talking about this book.' Justin Cronin, author of THE PASSAGE My father smelled like cigarettes and cardamom. When I was small, and wanted comfort, he would put down the wooden spoon when he was cooking, or the pen when he was writing. Always, he would halt what he was doing and crouch down. I pressed my cheek to his warm chest. In his arms, I was safe. The savage murder of eight-year-old Lauren's mother, and the sentencing of her father Izaan to life imprisonment for the murder, tears her world apart. As an adult, she can't understand why she has panic attacks, is unable to accept her boyfriend's marriage proposal, or listen to her brother Alex attempt to convince her of their father's innocence and wrongful imprisonment. Meanwhile, Sylvia Hall is running away from her loser boyfriend, determined to keep the baby he doesn't want. She knows her best friend since childhood, Victoria, will help her -- but Victoria has her own problems that threaten to consume her. All three women are connected by tragedy and betrayal: 'Close Your Eyes' is a heart-breaking page-turner about what happens when a family is destroyed.

This book was fantastic - it was split into five 'books' and although they seemed to be separate, towards the end of the book they entwined and the story was complete.

The story begins with 6 year old Lauren who, following a night in their tree house in their garden while their father and mother host a party in their home, makes the grim discovery with her brother (Alex aged 8) that her mother has been murdered. Their father is arrested and charged with her murder, while Lauren's brother believes their father is innocent, Lauren is not so sure.  Alex grows up and begins to train as a doctor before taking time out to work out in war zones while Lauren grows up into a more troubled adulthood. Working and in a relationship within which she is unable to commit her life gets worse when she receives the one phone call she didn't want - her brother has been in a hospital during a bomb attack and is now missing, presumed dead. Before Alex went to the war zone he made Lauren promise him that if anything happened to him, she would continue to look into her mother's murder and try to find innocence for her father, a task she was unsure of as she didn't believe her father was innocent.

There is also another story running parallel to that of Lauren. Sylvia is pregnant, but has also left her partner, and is now travelling to find her childhood friend, Victoria who appears to have gone off the rails since Sylvia last saw her.

This book had me gripped from the start and as I read through the five 'books' little clues were given as to what would be revealed but when I got to the end of the book I was still shocked as to the ending, however I had that satisfied feeling that all loose ends were tied up and an appropriate ending written. 

I would definitely recommend this book as a great read, for readers who like a good read where they are able to try and unravel the secret as they are reading.

Thank you to the publishers, Random House for sending me the book to review.

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