Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Alice's Review: Eyes Wide Open

Summary: A horrible family tragedy that may not be what it seems . . .

A past encounter with an infamous killer turns deadly today . . .

An ordinary man must risk his own family to find the truth.

Jay Erlich's nephew has been found at the bottom of a cliff at Morrow Bay. It's all just a tragic suicide, until secrets from the past begin to rear up again. Did a notorious killer, jailed for many decades, have his hand in this?  ~ amazon.com

Review: Murder, edge of my seat thrills, drama? When I received the ARC of Eyes Wide Open, I was intrigued. It had me at "horrible family tragedy." I’ll start off by saying I didn't enjoy the short chapters in this novel. I felt it was unnecessary. They served no purpose other than being the book's equivalent of a commercial break. The second thing I didn't like was how seemingly perfect Dr. Jay Erlich was. He was a little too perfect and characters need flaws to be human.

Perhaps Andrew Gross didn't give Jay flaws because Charlie, his brother, was a hot mess. Of all the characters, I liked him the best. I appreciated and respected his strength and his need to protect his family. Did he go about it all wrong? Absolutely, but that is what endeared me to him. He was flawed, he was human, he was real. I enjoyed reading how Jay and Charlie's relationship developed. The author succeeds in bringing realism to the brothers. He pulled me into their relationship and that is what made me continue reading. It wasn’t the drama or the mystery that needed to be solved but how these two very different brothers strengthened their bond.

I enjoyed how the story developed. In hindsight, I see where Mr. Gross dropped clues for the reader. I'm sure someone who is a fan of the genre would have picked up on them, I had to wait to the end to find out. I believe this is the first novel in a new series. I'm not sure where Mr. Gross is going to take it. I can't imagine where it could go. Then again, I'm not the writer, just a reader he sucked in.

What moved me the most was the author's note at the end of the novel.  I will admit it changed my view of the story, it caused me to see it in a different light and appreciate it in a different way.

If you enjoy a good thriller, I think you'll like this one. I'm not a typical reader of them and I enjoyed it very much. I'm not sure I'll pick up another Andrew Gross novel, but I will read the next one in the series just to see what the doc uncovers next.

Final Take: 4/5

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