Book Review: The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer

The Shut Eye by Belinda BauerThe Shut Eye: What it is about

From the publishers: “Five footprints are the only sign that Daniel Buck was ever here.
And now they are all his mother has left.
Every day, Anna Buck guards the little prints in the cement. Polishing them to a shine. Keeping them safe. Spiralling towards insanity.
When a psychic offers hope, Anna grasps it. Who wouldn’t? Maybe he can tell her what happened to her son…
But is this man what he claims to be? Is he a visionary? A shut eye? Or a cruel fake, preying on the vulnerable?
Or is he something far, far worse?

The Shut Eye: What I thought

I have read almost all of Bauer’s books and enjoy them a lot. This one was a little different: it had a supernatural element. Anna, who lost her son a few months ago, wants to know whether he’s still alive. Visiting a psychic, she is shown someone else’s picture, and she gets a vision. This happens several times. It doesn’t seem to be related to the disappearance of her son, but it may be something to do with the disappearance of a girl, a year earlier. The police think she’s crazy (which is how she behaves, from grief) but one inspector, DCI Marvel, believes that they should investigate further.

DCI Marvel is obsessed with the disappearance of the girl. He can’t get along with his colleagues and goes his own way. His superior, side lining him, gives him the lowly task of finding back Mitzi, his wife’s dog. This leads him to Anna. It becomes likely that the person who stole the dog is also responsible for the missing children.

I found the characters very convincing. Especially Anna, who was clearly mad with grief, even madder than it seems at first. When she is at the police station, one of the officers makes a discovery about Anna, which came very suddenly – I had not seen this coming at all, even though Anna had been a main character for some time. An amazing revelation, very clever of the author.

There are some elements in the story, especially related to the missing girl, that didn’t make complete sense to me and that weren’t resolved, which was a pity. The reason the girl had disappeared is something that I would never have been able to conjure up – another brilliant, if slightly unlikely, move by the author.

An entertaining, but not totally convincing read.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (good)

Number of pages: 304

First published: 2015

I got this: from the publishers for review, via Netgalley (ebook)

Genre: mystery


About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

3 Responses to Book Review: The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer

  1. BookerTalk says:

    Ive never read any Bauer – crime fiction doesn’t figure high on my reading generally – but I heard her name mentioned in an old Guardian podcast yesterday and she sounded someone who would be worth trying out. Any recommendations for which novel to begin with?

  2. This looks really interesting. I love the title.

  3. I really enjoyed Rubbernecker and have reserved this one at the library 🙂

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