The Shut Eye – Belinda Bauer

Published March 2015 by Transworld Digital

shut eye

Bauer’s great gift is her ability to surprise the reader’ Sunday Telegraph

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?


Five footprints are the only sign that Daniel Buck was ever here.
The Shut Eye is the astonishing new crime novel from Belinda Bauer, twice winner of Crime Novelist of the Year.

My thoughts

I absolutely adored ‘Rubbernecker’ and everybody else did as well. This is the latest crime novel from the very talented Belinda Bauer.

‘The Shut Eye’, we are told, is an expression to describe a genuine psychic, as opposed to a fraud. And psychics and their ability to see what has happened to missing people and dogs is central to the book. We follow a grieving and desolate couple, Anna and James Buck. Their young son, Daniel, wandered off from their home and disappeared. There is also another missing child Edie Evans from the same locality. The increasingly fragile Anna consults dubious psychic, Richard Latham. We also get the police perspective and some humour provided by DI Marvel. Marvel has the good fortune to be put on a missing dog case.

As you would expect with a Belinda Bauer book, you get a really entertaining and clever read. A dark a subject as missing children is handled in an unusual and gripping way. We really see how disturbed and full of regret the parents are. Anna is fascinating, as her inner pain tips over into Obsessive Compulsive Disorder behaviours. I thought the issues of illegal immigration and living in poverty whilst working, were impressively done. I could genuinely believe in James’ colleagues at the garage and felt sorry for them all.

I was surprised how the psychic element to the story worked for me. The use of psychics to help solve a mystery is one that I would be naturally scathing of. Bauer’s story-telling won me over.

Definitely one to read if you want humour, clever dark writing and social commentary all mashed up.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for my review copy.




About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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3 Responses to The Shut Eye – Belinda Bauer

  1. Oh, I really am going to have to read this one very soon! 🙂

  2. FictionFan says:

    Glad you enjoyed this one too. I should have hated it – missing kids, psychics, etc – but Bauer’s writing and humour won me over completely. 🙂

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