Close Your Eyes by Rachel Abbott

Today I’m delighted to share my thoughts on Close Your Eyes, the latest Tom Douglas thriller by Rachel Abbott. My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the tour, Here’s what the book is all about:

Source: Advance Reader Copy

About the Book

Don’t let him under your skin. He’ll destroy you.

Don’t fight him. He’ll win.

Run. Never let him find you.

I thought I was safe here, but I’m not. I’ve stayed too long. Now Genevieve is dead, and the police are on their way. It’s time for me to go.

I must stick to the plan – the one I made the day I arrived in this city. My bag is packed. It always is. I will destroy every shred of evidence of my existence. The police must never find me. If they do, so will he. 

I made a mistake, and someone had to die. But I’m the one who has truly lost her life.

I need to make a choice. If I keep running, I’ll never stop. If I go back, he will make me suffer. 

How many lives can one person ruin?

A Tom Douglas thriller

My Thoughts

What I love about the Tom Douglas series is that is not just a straight police thriller. The stories are as much about the characters who are at the heart of the case as it is the police and their day to day investigations. This time around the focus falls on Martha who finds herself under suspicion when her bosses wife is murdered. But rather than stay and face the police and profess her innocence, Martha disappears, for reasons that are slowly unveiled as the story progresses. There is far more to Martha than her colleagues know, and whilst as readers we become all too aware of why she has maintained such a air of secrecy amongst her colleagues, it only adds to the suspicion of guilt as far as her colleagues, and the police, are concerned.

This is a complicated and twisted case told in Rachel Abbott’s usual tension riddled and engrossing style. Mixing the points of view of Martha and the police with some scenes from Martha’s past, we are able to build a clear picture of why Martha is on the run and what she stands to lose if she is caught. Nothing is straightforward and the more I read, the more I started to empathise with Martha who, at least in the beginning, comes across as a very detached and almost too clinical character. Her shady behaviour made me want to learn more about her and the author has done a brilliant job of slowly peeling back the layers until we see the scared and vulnerable person at the core.

Rachel Abbott always takes a strong theme and builds a complex and often twisted story around it, keeping readers both informed and in suspense at the same time. Whilst we often feel we are one step head of the police, being as we often are in the mind of the central suspect or victim, she always retains some small element of the story, a vital piece of the puzzle which is revealed just at the point where the jeopardy will be most keenly felt. It means the tension and the pacing is just right, the story always holding my attention. This time around the author explores the theme of coercive control and psychological abuse, and introduces a character who is outwardly charming and charismatic but who ultimately makes the skin crawl. Rachel Abbott has created a situation which is totally believable and which will play with your emotions, especially given the ultimate impact of what comes to pass.

As almost supporting characters, I really do like Becky and Tom as the key investigators in the series. Although Becky’s role is largely just investigative this time around, we do get to see a little bit more of how some recent changes in Tom’s domestic situation are starting to impact upon his working life. It is those quieter moments that provide a welcome offset to the darkness in Martha’s story, the proof that family life can be positive and uncomplicated. Character development is really one of the key elements I love about the books as whole – the way in which the author really makes you care about what happens to everyone in the story, even if it is only seeing an antagonist getting their just desserts.

Another gripping, character driven story that fans of the series will love. Definitely recommended.

About the Author

Rachel Abbott’s debut thriller, Only the Innocent, was an international bestseller, reaching the number one position in the Amazon charts both in the UK and US. This was followed by the number one bestselling novels The Back Road, Sleep Tight and Stranger Child,Nowhere Child (a short novel based on the characters from Stranger Child), Kill Me Again, The Sixth Window, Come a Little Closer, The Shape of Lies and Right Behind You. In 2018 Rachel released the first book in a new series – And So It Begins. This was followed by another in the series, The Invitation (in the US).

Rachel’s novels have now been translated into over 20 languages.

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