Eyes Wide Open (2011)
by Andrew Gross (Twitter.)
Publication Date: May 29th 2012 (first published January 1st, 2011)
Edition Read: Paperback
Buy a copy via Amazon.
Andrew Gross is the author of the New York Times and international bestsellers Eyes Wide Open, The Blue Zone, The Dark Tide, Don’t Look Twice, and Reckless. He is also coauthor of five number one bestsellers with James Patterson, including Judge & Jury and Lifeguard. His books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages. He lives in Westchester County, New York, with his wife, Lynn.
Jay Erlich’s nephew has been found at the bottom of a cliff at Morrow Bay. It’s all just a tragic suicide, until secrets from the past begin to rear up again. Did a notorious killer, jailed for many decades, have his hand in this?Years ago, Jay Erlich’s older brother, Charlie, a wayward child of the sixties, set out for California, where he fell under the sway of a charismatic but deeply disturbed cultlike figure. Tragedy ensued and lives were destroyed, but as the decades passed, Charlie married and raised a family and lived a quiet, secluded life under the radar. Yet the demons that nearly destroyed him never completely disappeared.
Drawing on two real-life experiences from his own past, Gross has crafted a richly personal, yet utterly terrifying tale of two brothers, one successful, one wayward, trying to bridge the gap of what tore them apart.
Ugh. I picked up Eyes Wide Open because I was hoping for the same non-stop action, heart-pounding page-turner that was 15 Seconds, which I enjoyed this past summer. Unfortunately, Eyes Wide Open was not that book. The unoriginal plot not only was messy and extremely repetitive. Pace was frustratingly slow. The characters were not only unlikable, but confusing. The villains defied logic. And the police are useless. However, there were some wonderful suspenseful moments. I also applaud Gross for using his only experiences, but overall Eyes Wide Open was just your average suspense novel that I would hesitate to even call it a thriller.
When In Crisis, Just Claim You’re A Doctor
Or at least that’s how the protagonist, Jay Erlich, operates. “I’m a doctor.” seems to be his default automated message. He says it to emergency personal, cops, reporters, taxi drivers, everyone else he meets. I get it, you have a fancy medical degree, so what? What being a doctor has to do with solving crime is beyond me.
For some reason, all of Jay’s “guesses” turn out to be correct, or somehow turn into truths as the story progresses. The witnesses claim to be unsure of the suspect’s gender. Along the way, the suspicions are dropped, and everyone believes the suspect is a woman…because a doctor (who didn’t even speak to the witness) suspected it.
Also, Don’t Tell Your Family Anything
One of the most annoying parts of the novel is Jay’s numerous phone calls to his over-reacting wife. He’s only gone for a week, and she’s already freaking out. Gosh, woman! Calm down! It’s ONLY been a week. I thought at any point she would be filing for divorce. His I’m-not-going-to-tell-my-wife-anything-because-she-won’t-understand attitude doesn’t help matters either. What kind of marriage is this? I’m supposed to like this guy? Really?