Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The book that divided our book group: Close my Eyes by Sophie McKenzie

Sophie McKenzie's Close my Eyes: Did you love it or loathe it?
It was book group at my place this morning. On the menu: coffee, blueberry muffins and Sophie McKenzie's Close my Eyes. It's the story of a novelist who is struggling to cope with life after her baby was stillborn eight years ago and then hears out of the blue that her child didn't die, but was stolen. It's a gripping tale with plenty of action (but happily not much gore) and the plot keeps you guessing until the very last page. Reading a female-centric thriller is refreshing and the book's ending is truly chilling. I actually thought it was the best part of the book and would have started reading the sequel straight away if there was one. 

Most of the women in our group loved it. One of us just couldn't get into it and had given up - but she went away from the group thinking she would try again. 

What I liked less, and this is a common criticism of thrillers of course, is that I found the characters in the book two-dimensional and couldn't engage with any of them. I kept reading because I really wanted to know how the story panned out but, to be honest, I didn't really care about any of the people in the story - even the heroine. That surprised me because, as a writer and mother myself, I fully expected to empathise with her.

Having said that, if you like a good psychological thriller, I'd recommend this book. It's original, gripping while you're reading it and haunts you afterwards. Read it and see for yourself. I'd love to hear what you think...


  1. Thanks for this post and I was nodding my head in agreement throughout. Many thrillers are so focused on the twists and turns of the plot the character development suffers. I really enjoy psychological thrillers so I will definitely give this book a read (thank you). I thought I would recommend a psychological thriller that I recently read entitled, "The Gemini Factor" by author Philip Fleishman (http://www.philipfleishmanmd.com/). This is a book with fantastic character development and a unique and fascinating story line. The novel covers mind bending subjects such as the telepathic connection between twins and the relationship between random events. This novel will shake you up and leave you speechless! Perhaps suggest it as your next book group read?? :)

  2. Hi Karen,

    Thanks for the suggestion, The Gemini Factor, sounds fascinating - will have a look and suggest it for our group.

    All the best,

  3. Thanks for posting! Review of the book is wonderful.Great blog. The action and the plot of the story is good to read.
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    at atrickygame.com

  4. Just finished this book. As a mother that had a miscarriage, this book hit home. Because of this similar issue the heroine had, I began to wonder myself. But in all honesty. I could never imagine being told my Riley was live when I thought for so many years was dead. This book has a great plot and twist ending. Wish I could keep the library book. It's so good!

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  6. Hi Dani, I'm really sorry to hear about your miscarriage, but it's interesting to hear your perspective on how a woman in this situation might feel. Great that you liked the book.