When Geniver Loxley lost her daughter at birth eight years ago, her world stopped... and never fully started again.Read more...
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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. For Art, the solution is simple: Have another child to replace Beth. For Gen, the thought of replacing her first child feels cruel, nearly unbearable. A part of her will never let go of Beth, no matter how much she needs to move on.
But then a stranger shows up on their doorstep, telling Gen the very thing she's always desperately longed to hear: that her daughter was not stillborn, but was taken away as a healthy infant. That Beth is still out there, somewhere, waiting to be found. A fissure suddenly opens up in Gen's carefully reconstructed life, letting in a flood of unanswerable questions. How could this possibly be true? Where is Beth? And why is Art so reluctant to get involved?
As Gen delves into the darkest parts of her past, she starts to realize that finding the answers might open the door to something even worse, a truth that could steal everything she holds close. Even her own life.
With "Close My Eyes," Sophie McKenzie weaves a breathless thriller that digs in its hooks without mercy and twists without warning, confirming her place among today's most exciting new voices in psychological suspense.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-07-29
- Reviewer: Staff
Imagine losing a daughter at childbirth and living your life in a depression, only to have a mysterious stranger inform you years later that the girl is actually alive and well. This is the premise of Sophie McKenzie’s new novel, which is skillfully narrated by Marisa Calin in an inspired, emotional performance. Calin’s ability to capture the essence of the novel’s troubled, ravaged heroine, Geniver Loxley, is extraordinary. Calin’s pacing is steady, her tone is simple and understated, and yet her voice possesses a slight tremble during Geniver’s dialogue. In this audio edition, McKenzie and Calin—by the power of her performance—force listeners to wonder how they might act in a similar situation. A St. Martin’s hardcover. (July)
A living nightmare
When a stranger shows up at the door of Geniver Loxley’s London townhouse and tells her that her stillborn baby was really delivered alive, everything in Gen’s life is turned upside down. Eight years ago, Beth—as Gen and Art had named their daughter—died in utero. Ever since, Gen has lived in a blur of grief, unable to conceive again, her writing career swapped for desultory teaching gigs, her marriage to her handsome, super-supportive, super-successful husband as empty as her teaching. Close My Eyes, Sophie McKenzie’s wickedly compelling new thriller, performed by Marisa Calin, follows Gen into a labyrinth of lies as she begins to search for the child she’s dreamt of all these painful years. Whom can she trust? Where can she turn? Is she losing it, as her husband insists, finally tipped over by grief? Or is there a lethal reality that, once discovered, could cost Gen her life and the loss, all over again, of the child she’s never seen or held? Once you start listening to this audio cocktail spiked with Gaslight, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and a dash of The Bad Seed, don’t plan to do anything else.
A local woman who never drank dies of alcohol poisoning, and the probable murder lands in the lap of Detective Patrik Hedstrom just weeks before his long-awaited wedding. It’s a perplexing case for the police department in Tanumshede, the small Swedish town where Camilla Läckberg sets The Stranger, the fourth in her best-selling crime series. It gets even dicier when Patrik discovers similar cases in other towns around Sweden and wonders if he might be dealing with a slow-moving serial killer. To add to the challenge, a TV reality show centered on the bad behavior of heavily drinking teens comes to town to start shooting, and, within days, one of the contestants is murdered and stuffed in a garbage can. Though Läckberg doesn’t favor the razzle-dazzle horror and wild chases that mark many Scandinavian thrillers, her convoluted plots, deftly drawn characters and super sense of suspense make her a formidable fashioner of fine crime fiction, impeccably evoked here by narrator Simon Vance.
TOP PICK IN AUDIO
Nora Eldridge is angry, and her rage spills out in an eloquent first-person narrative. Hearing her voice, so convincingly rendered by Cassandra Campbell in this extraordinary audiobook, makes you her confidant, enveloped in her world. Yet, as The Woman Upstairs, Claire Messud’s brilliant new novel, unfolds, you begin to wonder if Nora is really a reliable narrator. A beloved third grade teacher in a Cambridge, Massachusetts, private school, she wanted to be an artist, but never had the ruthless fire and confidence she needed. Nearing 40, unmarried, perceiving herself “consigned to mediocrity,” Nora meets the Shahids, a glamorous international couple from Paris, whose son is in her class. She falls in love with all of them: Reza, a sweet 8-year-old; Sirena, an emerging Italian installation artist; and Skandar, a charming Lebanese professor on a fellowship at Harvard. And suddenly, Nora feels alive, empowered to make art, empowered to be significant. Still, the reader knows—though Nora doesn’t seem to—that she can’t live in their aura forever; sooner or later, she’ll feel betrayed, and that betrayal will fuel a fury that might not be contained.