I couldn’t believe my eyes when, upon looking for books to read over Christmas, I discovered I’d missed (missed!), the publication and thus acquisition of Michael Robotham’s latest, Close Your Eyes, earlier in the year. Yep – mine were shut, weren’t they! I can only plead work as an excuse. So, while I was disappointed I’d missed reading the novel when it first came out, I was thrilled to know another Joseph O’Loughlin adventure was there for me to devour – and that I did.
When the bodies of a mother and daughter are found in a farmhouse, one brutally murdered, the other carefully arranged on a bed with barely a mark upon her, suspicion falls upon the neighbours, estranged members of the family and the multiple online sexual partners of the mother. Against his better judgement and despite promises to the contrary to his family, Joseph is drawn into the case, one that’s not only baffled the officers in charge but has been seriously undermined by the leaking of details to the press and accusations of incompetence levelled by a man who fancies himself as a celebrity-psychologist. A former student of Joe’s, Milo Coleman, the so-called “Mindhunter” is arrogant and reckless and feeling somewhat responsible, Joe agrees to help Chief Superintendent Veronica Cray –not only with the case, but in trying to reign in Milo’s ambitions.
But the perpetrator is also watching and the closer the Mindhunter comes to destroying public faith in the force and Joe to cracking the case, the closer the killer lurks as well.
In the meantime, Joe has been asked to move back with his wife while she undergoes an operation. Ignorant as to the state of Julianne’s health, Joe is horrified to learn that her condition is very serious. Trying to balance the case with caring for his wife’s well-being and that of his two daughters, conflict arises when his eldest daughter reveals she too wants to be a clinical psychologist like her father and demands he include her, when appropriate, in his investigation.
Soliciting the help of his old mate, Vincent Ruiz, not even the combined efforts of Joe and Vincent can keep Joe’s family safe, particularly when killers come in all sorts of guises and when you least expect it…
I am not going to reveal any more except to say, as usual, Robotham has written a cracker of a book with a terrific plot, dialogue that both simmers and sparkles and prose that is poetic an moving in parts and fast-paced and riveting in others. There are rich and rounded characters with whom you identify so strongly (no more so than Joe), and an ending that will leave fans of the series reeling. I cried a tissue-box.
I simply adore this writer’s work and this series in particular and cannot wait to read the next instalment for which I will keep my eyes peeled!