One of my favorite reads of 2015 was Rubbernecker by Belinda Bauer. I don’t generally read modern-day mysteries, but I loved everything about that book. So I was excited to get a copy of The Shut Eye, Bauer’s latest release.
The Shut Eye tells the story of two parents whose young son disappeared about six months ago. They left the door open and their four year old boy ran out of the house, and was never seen from again. The police couldn’t find a trace of him, except for a few sneaker marks left in wet concrete that morning. It’s the story of a disintegrating marriage. Grieving mother Anna sits by those footprints every day, cleaning the mud from them, hanging on to the only thing she has left of her son. Until she sees a flier for a psychic (a “Shut Eye”) who might be able to help her.
It’s also the story of a cop, John Marvel, who never got over the child he couldn’t find. Marvel’s been put on a back-burner by his boss – instead of finding missing children he’s asked to find a missing poodle instead. But like any good detective he’s willing to put his career on the line to save a child.
If you pick up this book, you won’t want to put it down. That makes it a quick read, but be warned, the subject matter isn’t an easy one.
Just like with Rubbernecker, I loved the character in the book, and that’s what makes her writing so good. I really felt for the cops, the grieving parents, and the other parents who lost children that were never found again. This is a fast-paced book but Bauer never loses what makes a book so important – strong, sympathetic characters. It’s also a deceptively complex story. I had to reread a few parts to make sure I got all the details.
I can’t adequately describe what makes this book so good. But I can say this: I can’t wait to read the rest of Bauer’s books.
Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and publisher Grove Atlantic. The book was published January 12, 2016.