Close Your Eyes
by Michael Robotham
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Wow, I didn't want it to end. It was that good.
Desperate to solve an ugly double murder that has the community frightened and her team scratching their heads, Detective Chief Vericonica Cray recruits Joseph O'Loughlin and his trusty sidekick Vincent Ruiz, (a retired cop) hoping they can read the tea leaves and solve the case before this killer strikes again. Complicating matters further O'Loughlin's former student, Milo Coleman, aka the "Mindhunter" has jeopardized the case, leaking confidential information to local shock radio. Joe thinks there's a reason why the mother and daughter were killed so differently. Elizabeth, the mother, was stabbed 36 times, mostly about the genitals. While Harper, the daughter, was smothered and staged to appear sleeping.
When a second woman is murdered, Joe is convinced the same perpetrator is responsible. He also begins to connect a string of strange attacks where the victims had the letter "A" carved into their forehead. O'Loughlin dismisses the pentagram and candles left at the first murder scene as staging...meant to send police scurrying off in the wrong direction. He sure there's a connection between the "A" perpetrator and the murderer - there's meaning to his madness. Question is...can Joe decipher the killer's message before he kills again?
While trying to get inside the mind of a murderer, Joe has moved back into the family home for the summer. He hopes to mend his family and be there for his two daughters and for Julianne (his wife) as she braces herself for what could be a long difficult journey...depending on the test results. Charlie (the oldest daughter) has decided to pursue an education in forensic psychology and is determined to get an early start with the meddling in Dad's new murder case. Joe meanwhile continues his own personal battle with Parkinson's Disease.
The story races towards an inevitable showdown and there's so much going on I never realized all the various strings of the web were being neatly tied together.
Then WHAM! It's over.
I plugged in the headphones and settled in for what I thought would be about an hour of listening...some three hours later, I was still plugged in and wide awake. Robotham does a masterful job of weaving a web of intricate, complicated, action filled plot-lines, and sharply drawn, emotionally engaging characters it was impossible to find a place to press pause. I found myself more than once yelling at my CD player or huffing out of exasperation. When characters illicit such emotions from the reader, the author has delivered a truly entertaining book. Close Your Eyes will keep your eyes open (reading or listening). It was well worth loosing a few hours sleep.