Thursday, 18 July 2013

Book Review: Close My Eyes by Sophie McKenzie

Goodreads Summary: When Geniver Loxley lost her daughter at birth eight years ago, her world stopped… and never fully started again. Mothers with strollers still make her flinch; her love of writing has turned into a half-hearted teaching career; and she and her husband, Art, have slipped into the kind of rut that seems inescapable.

But then a stranger shows up on their doorstep, telling Gen the very thing she’s always wanted to hear: that her daughter Beth was not stillborn, but was taken away as a healthy infant and is still out there, somewhere, waiting to be found. It’s insane, unbelievable. But why would anyone make that up? A fissure suddenly opens up in Gen’s carefully reconstructed life, letting in a flood of unanswerable questions. Where is Beth now? Why is Art so reluctant to get involved? To save his wife from further hurt? Or is it something more sinister? And who can she trust to help her?

Ignoring the warnings of her husband and friends, Gen begins to delve into the dark corners of her past, hopeful she’ll find a clue to her daughter’s whereabouts. But hope quickly turns into fear and paranoia, as she realizes that finding the answers might open the door to something even worse than not knowing. A truth that could steal everything she holds close – even her own life.

Title: Close My Eyes
Series: N/A
Author: Sophie McKenzie
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Release Date: 9th July 2013
Genre: Adult Contemporary Thriller
Format: eGalley
Sournce: Publisher via NetGalley

Well, I don’t know where to start. I originally saw this at the shop and thought it looked interesting and then found it on NetGalley and just had to request it. Once I had started reading the actual idea of what this book will be about it terrified me, I am a Mother to 3 beautiful children aged 5, 3 and 1. The thought of losing a child is horrific enough, but then having a seed planted that the baby hadn’t, well too awful for words. I tried to stop reading this because I was scared to find out what went on, but I just couldn’t put it down and I find this a testament to Sophie McKenzie and her writing ability. The whole way through I kept talking about it with my Mum because it wouldn’t leave my mind. Amazing! Amazing ! and AMAZING!

Art and Geniver (Gen) have been together for 14 years and married for around 10 years. Their life has been prestigious with Art’s business growing from strength to strength and now even including working with the Prime Minister of England. Eight years ago, they became excited that they were expecting their first baby; moving closer to the hospital, Gen became worried that the baby wasn’t moving much and went for a scan. Her Doctor told them that the baby had died in utero and a C-Section immediately would be best for everybody. Gen was overwhelmed with grief and couldn’t believe her little baby girl has died. Not even being able to see her or hold her, she was taken away and a funeral arranged. Art had arranged everything, Gen was too distraught and her life was forever changed.

Becoming depressed and a recluse, Gen couldn’t even bring herself to write anymore. Her best friend, Hen also pregnant for the first time wasn’t even game enough to talk to Gen or show her own baby. They decided to try IVF and after 5 failed attempts, Gen is questioning if she even wants to try that again. The emotional turmoil of hope and failure was too much for her.

One day while Art was at work, Gen had a visitor at her door. Upon opening the door, it was a stranger; a woman that was telling Gen awful awful lies. Lucy O’Donnell had a sister that recently passed away of cancer and with her last breath, told Lucy that the baby was actually alive and her sister helped to cover it up. She had lived with the guilt for eight years and wanted to put things right before it was too late.

Gen doesn’t know whether to believe this stranger; can it possibly be true? Gen speaks with Art and Hen, they both cannot believe it to be true, why would anybody lie about a baby dying, and surely it couldn’t happen! Gen still sees the nervousness of Lucy and how genuine she seemed. Now the seed is planted and hope is reborn.

Gen tries to contact Lucy, but the number is no longer in service. Huh?!? Now what? Going against Art and everybody else that had told her to move on, Gen tries to dig deeper and contact the people involved in her C-Section. But finding people from her past is no easy task and tracking down her Doctor seems to be downright impossible. What is going on?

Nobody wants to give Gen any answers and they all tell her to move on and forget that Lucy even visited. Why isn’t Art interested in the possibility? Where is her Doctor? How come the people involved keep going missing? Is her child really alive?

Follow Gen’s journey through her depression, hope, love and dangerous adventure to find the answers and discover the truth behind her baby. This mysterious, thrilling and emotional expedition that I undertook with Gen left me gasping and OMGing and hoping that Gen can be happy and survive the betrayal and heartache. I highly recommend this book to all contemporary readers even without children because the thrilling story is so addictive. Ms McKenzie is another definite favourite.


About the Author

Sophie was born and brought up in London, where she still lives with her teenage son. She has worked as a journalist and a magazine editor, but fell in love with writing after being made redundant and enrolling in a creative writing course. She burst into the publishing world with Girl, Missing her debut novel (published 2006), which tallied up numerous award wins nationwide, including the Richard and Judy Best Kids’ Books 2007 (12+ category), The Red House Book Award and The Manchester Children’s Book Award. She was also longlisted for the Branford Boase award, which commends debut authors, and the coveted Carnegie Medal.

She writes mostly thrillers - though she has done some teen romance stories too. Sophie is really excited right now because of...

Close My Eyes - which is the first psychological thriller for adult readers (pub May 2013, UK, July 2013, US)

Split Second - her new teen thriller for Autumn 2013 (UK)

The Flynn teen romance series which started with Falling Fast and Burning Bright and continues with Casting Shadows (pub July 2013, UK)

For more info on these and my other books, check out my website:

~ courtesy of Goodreads and Ms McKenzie's website

1 comment:

  1. Wow. This sounds amazing! I remember watching The Deep End of the Ocean, which has a similar storyline, and even though its a scary thought that someone could do something like this, it's such an intriguing story. I'm definitely marking this one down to be read!