cover image Close Your Eyes

Close Your Eyes

Amanda Eyre Ward. Random, $25 (272p) ISBN 978-0-345-49448-1

A nearly transparent whodunit provides a less than ideal structure for an otherwise incisive story of loss and redemption. Lauren Mahdian has no interest in uncovering the details%C2%A0of her mother's murder 24 years ago, but her brother, Alex, is obsessed with exonerating their%C2%A0father, who has been convicted of the murder, and whom Lauren has cut out of her life. But when Alex, a physician with Doctors Without Borders, is feared dead after his hospital is bombed, Lauren feels compelled to carry on his investigation, disinterring memories of a night she'd long ago repressed, suffering panic attacks, and recoiling from her%C2%A0sweet if bumbling boyfriend. Elsewhere, Sylvia Hall is pregnant, with few prospects, and planning on getting help from her glamorous childhood friend, Victoria, with whom she shares a dark secret from many years%C2%A0ago that just may hold the key to Lauren's mother's death. Ward (Love Stories in This Town) excels at capturing vivid moments of warmth and kindness even%C2%A0amid a staggering accumulation of personal losses, and while the mystery plot is weak, the rest of the novel is marked by a bruised but generous spirit. (July)