‘The Shut Eye’ is a standalone novel by Belinda Bauer. While some of the characters in the book were very unlikeable, the overall story was very moving and managed to evoke many different emotions.
Anna Buck’s 4 year old son has been missing for 4 months. Her husband James left the front door open. Daniel ran outside and has not been seen since.
James is consumed by guilt and is losing Anna to grief, while Anna descends into madness and only leaves the house to polish the footprints that Daniel left in the concrete the day he disappeared.
When Anna sees an advertisement for a psychic, she sees this as her last hope to help find her son. She overcomes her fears to leave the house and attend one of Richard Latham’s sessions.
DCI Jack Marvel is obsessed with another missing child case. A year ago, 12 year old Edie Evans disappeared while riding her bike. Latham was consulted during the investigation, but Marvel sees him and all psychics as crackpots and scammers.
Now Marvel’s boss has assigned him to search for his wife’s missing poodle Mitzi. Marvel can barely control his fury.
The story is told from the point of view of several of the characters – Anna Buck, Jack Marvel, Edie Evans (who thinks she has been abducted by aliens) Ang (a young Chinese immigrant who works at the same garage as James) and others.
Some of the characters are brilliant – the pathetic, mad Anna Buck, the rude and scheming Jack Marvel, Marvel’s boss Robert Clyde and co-worker Emily Aguda, James’s boss Brian and his immigrant co-workers and the down-at-heel psychic Richard Latham. Even the tea ladies play a part.
There is a strong psychic element to the story, but portrayed in a humorous way. The facts just can’t quite all be explained by logic.
This wasn’t my favourite Belinda Bauer book. With so many different views, I didn’t manage to fall in love with the characters as much as in some of her other books – Patrick in ‘Rubbernecker’ and Ruby in ‘The Facts of Life and Death’. Even so, I loved the story and it was able to make me laugh and cry. I’m looking forward to my next Belinda Bauer novel.
Book Published 2015