Published by Corgi/Transworld (26 July 2018)
Available in ebook and paperback
Source: Copy provided by The Pigeonhole
| About the Book |
Haven’t we all wanted to pretend everything is fine?
Jane doesn’t like confrontation. Given the choice, she’d prefer to focus on what’s going well, the good things in life.
But when her husband, Leon, is brutally attacked in the driveway of their home, in front of their two young children, Jane has to face reality. As he lies in a coma, Jane must open her eyes to the problems in her life, and the secrets that have been kept from her, if she’s to find out who hurt her husband – and why.
Maybe it’s time to face up to it all. Who knows what you might find . . .
| My Thoughts |
Oh my goodness, a new book by Paula Daly. What a treat! I’ve reviewed all of her books on this blog and jumped at the chance to read an advance copy of this via The Pigeonhole. This was my first time of using their app, reading a stave (or chapters) per day, over a period of 10 days, and it worked really well – I’d be very happy to read more this way.
For Jane, her husband Leon and their two young children, the day started ordinarily enough at their home in Liverpool. An intended visit to Leon’s mother to celebrate his birthday. Before they leave home, Jane pops out of the car for a few minutes whilst Leon is arguing with an awkward neighbour about trivial matters and when she returns, Leon has been attacked.
Paula’s latest book is set primarily around the publishing world (which for me added an extra interest), and I suspect perhaps draws upon some of her own experiences to give some insight. Leon is a successful published author and Jane is an aspiring author, currently teaching creative writing whilst the success she so desperately craves eludes her. The rivalry and competitiveness between some authors doesn’t go unmentioned – some may remember the media furore over ‘sock-puppetry’ from a few years ago.
Open your Eyes seemed to me to be a little different from Daly’s previous books but none the less captivating. In my opinion, this one is more of a character led domestic crime/suspense story, focusing on people rather than actions. Following Leon’s attack, Jane has to take over all the responsibility for her family, their home and finances whilst all the time fearing that whoever attacked Leon may come back. The trauma of what happened to Leon and how it affects their family is very powerfully and sympathetically written and the reader is left in no doubt as to the complexity of brain injuries and the the repercussions it has on everyone. As Jane attempts to get their lives into some kind of order and find out why Leon was targeted, secrets and deceit come to light and she begins to wonder whether she actually knew her husband. It doesn’t help that the police suspect HER of being involved in the attack.
Jane, in particular, was a realistic and engaging character and generally I was on her side although there were times when I did wonder if she was being completely honest and I did begin to doubt her involvement. We only saw events from her perspective and on occasions she withheld information and made some decisions that I thought were unwise but I guess she was doing her best in a dreadful situation and felt completely on her own. It took a devastating event for her to come out from behind Leon’s shadow and find out just what she was actually capable of.
This wouldn’t be a suspense thriller without the unexpected curve balls and the author certainly had me fooled by the twists and surprises that occurred.
Open Your Eyes is another cracking read from this very talented author and I enjoyed it very much. Paula Daly generally produces one book a year – the only thing I am sad about is having to wait now for another one.
My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the tour invite.
| Author Bio |
Paula Daly is the critically acclaimed author of four novels. Her work has been sold in fifteen countries, shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Crime Novel of the Year, and her books are currently being developed for television. She was born in Lancashire and lives in the Lake District with her husband, three children and whippet Skippy.
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