Close Your Eyes by Michael Robotham. Read August 2015.

This is the eighth instalment in the Joseph O’Loughlin series by Michael Robotham.
“A mother and her teenage daughter are found murdered in a remote farmhouse, one defiled by multiple stab wounds and the other left lying like Sleeping Beauty waiting for her Prince. Reluctantly, clinical psychologist Joe O’Loughlin is drawn into the investigation when a former student, calling himself ‘the Mindhunter’, jeopardises the police inquiry by leaking details to the media and stirring up public anger.

With no shortage of suspects and tempers beginning to fray, Joe discover links between these murders and a series of brutal attacks where his victims have been choked unconscious and had the letter ‘A’ carved into their foreheads.

As the case becomes ever more complex, nothing is quite what it seems and soon Joe’s fate, and that of those closest to him, become intertwined with a merciless, unpredictable killer . . .”

This has been one of my favourite crime fiction series since the first book, The Suspect, back in 2004. Psychologist Joe has been battling Parkinson’s Disease for years but his physical problems take a back seat in this story which, not for the first time, sees those close to him in peril. The author’s great skill is in enthralling the reader with a cleverly plotted mystery while at the same time developing characters who stay in your mind long after the book is finished.

I follow many crime series (about twenty at the last count) and this one is in my top three. The mark of a great series for me is when the whodunnit becomes almost secondary to the recurring characters’ stories. Other remarkable examples are Susan Hill’s Simon Serrailler books, Peter James’s Roy Grace series and Sophie Hannah’s Culver Valley Crime. Whilst any of the books in these series could be read as a standalone novel they would lose some of their impact if the reader was ignorant of the back story. Although I can’t explain why without spoilers, which I avoid at all costs, Close Your Eyes is a prime example of why I always advocate reading a series in chronological order.

An emotional roller coaster ride of a book, that kept me guessing until the author was ready to reveal its secrets. Highly recommended.

Thank you to the publisher, via Netgalley, for the e-book proof copy to review.

  

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