Published by Hachette UK on January 28th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Psychological, Thrillers, Crime, Family Life, Mystery & Detective, Police Procedural, Cozy, General, Psychology, Social Psychology, Family & Relationships, Suspense
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Also by this author: After I've Gone
THE #1 EBOOK BESTSELLER. 'A beautifully crafted novel of knife-edge suspense' Amanda Prowse. A nail-biting psychological drama for fans of Room, The Couple Next Door and Kelly Rimmer's The Secret Daughter.
One, two, three . . . Lisa Dale shuts her eyes and counts to one hundred during a game of hide-and-seek. When she opens them, her four-year-old daughter Ella is gone. Disappeared without a trace. The police, the media and Lisa's family all think they know who snatched Ella. But what if the person who took her isn't a stranger? What if they are convinced they are doing the right thing? And what if Lisa's little girl is in danger of disappearing forever?
Psychological thrillers are the “in thing” at the moment – every author is giving it a go, some with more success than others, and Linda Green has made the switch, with the release of her new novel While My Eyes Were Closed. I got myself a copy from the library, and I was immediately gripped. This is one of those books where there’s definitely two sides to the story, and even now I am still questioning how I felt about it all, because it wasn’t necessarily black & white. There were shades of grey in there, and this wasn’t exactly your run of the mill cut and dry child going missing story.
Here’s the thing: what happened to Ella was wrong. Of course it was. You cannot do that, no matter what you think is right or wrong, or how you try and justify it. A child being taken from its mother is not in its best interests, unless the parent can’t take care of her child, and that is not true for Lisa Dale. Lisa seemed like a great parent, along with Alex. She’s got three kids, two with Alex, and they’re a lovely family. BUT, I actually agreed with a lot of the reasons for why Ella was taken (although they were no justification, because actually Lisa wasn’t on the phone when Ella disappeared, she had her eyes closed, counting, in a game of hide and seek). In this day and age, parents ARE more concerned with their mobile phones than their children, I see people every day ignoring their kids because their phone is more important, or sitting a kid down with a tablet because actually playing with your kid is a hard task (begging the question of why they had their child in the first place…). I could honestly talk for AGES about that, because I think it’s so wrong to have a kid and then ignore it.
I loved seeing both sides to this story, because like I say, it’s not just a random grab, Ella doesn’t just vanish, with some sicko, although perhaps that depends on how much you like who takes her? For what it’s worth – I thought they took good care of Ella. Totally wrong, but after what we learn, you can kinda see why it happened. You can see everything leading up to it, almost like a breaking point, and I don’t necessarily think there was malicious intent, either. I think it was done with good thoughts, but it’s obviously not something that can ever be right. It also made it so heartbreaking to see what Lisa, Alex, Otis and Chloe go through, because they didn’t deserve it, so it really does leave you in a moral quandary, but it’s written so well you feel for both sides.
While My Eyes Were Closed was perhaps not an edge-of-your-seat novel, because there’s no surprise in who takes Ella, we’re kept up to date with all the goings on there, but it is thrilling, because you’re never sure what’s going to happen next – will Ella be found? What will happen? There are plenty of questions, and one heck of a plot twist, that I actually didn’t see coming. Although it brought the plots together even more, even though it was unwitting. Linda Green has hit it out of the park with While My Eyes Were Closed. I was glued to the book the entire time I was reading, and I can see why it was over 800 glowing reviews on Amazon, each one is very, very well deserved, this was a great read.