Tuesday, August 30, 2011
...the plotting was complex and engrossing but at 500+ pages it is just too long
Shut Your Eyes Tight is the second novel to feature Dave Guerney, the highly decorated, retired NYPD detective now living in upstate New York. Guerney is enticed into an investigation where a bride has been beheaded at her wedding reception. The obvious suspect is nowhere to be found and the police investigation is stalled. Guerney is hired by the victim’s mother to investigate the murder. Guerney uncovers clues that the police have overlooked and the investigation focuses on sex crimes, a sex procurement business and a school for young sexual predators.
I thought the mystery element of this book was very satisfactory. The plotting was complex and engrossing and the denouement was quite good. The story really needs better editing though, and at 500+ pages it was just too long. Many passages share the detective’s thoughts and doubts and really doesn’t advance the story. The other disappointment I had was Guerney’s personal life didn’t progress at all. He still has a poor relationship with his son, if the author is not going to develop this side story just leave it out of the book. He still has a poor relationship with his wife. I found the passive/aggressive wife to be a very inconsistent character, again not really well developed or very appealing. I think the author needs to jettison all of his personal life if he can’t do a better job developing it in subsequent books.
So in summary, this book doesn’t improve on the promising debut novel Think of A Numb3r but I’ll probably read the next in the series in hopes that this author can sharpen his writing.
I read a copy of this novel that I received through the Amazon Vine program.