Shut Your Eyes Tight

Retired NYPD Detective Dave Gurney lives in the Catskills with his wife, Madeleine, trying to adjust to their new life and learn to appreciate nature. Madeleine is content, but Gurney can't seem to halt his obsession with criminal investigations, so when a former colleague offers him the sensational case of a decapitated bride connected to a bevy of juvenile sex offenders and an international crime family, he can't resist. The seemingly impossible and horrifying details fascinate him. Gurney ends up endangering himself and threatening his relationship with Madeleine, who resents the gruesome menace he brings home.

The case of the murdered bride expands and contorts to involve sexual psychology and sexual abuse, and is complicated by police forces so bent on thwarting one another that they seem willing to risk the case itself. The puzzle of the murder mystery, in which we participate alongside Gurney, is suspenseful and challenging, and as a psychological thriller keeps the reader breathlessly turning the pages.

Gurney is a likable character, tortured by his own past, and conflicted in his view of himself as a talented detective but an imperfect husband and father. He worries that he may be uncomfortably similar to the sociopaths he hunts: incapable of compassion and caring, more concerned with the chase than with his family. The reader sympathizes, however, as he grows into a fully developed man, battling an evil that increases as the story progresses, until the suspense and fear come together in a final heart-stopping crescendo. --Julia Jenkins, librarian and blogger at pages of julia

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