cover image Eyes Closed Tight

Eyes Closed Tight

Peter Leonard. Story Plant (, $13.95 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-61188-114-1

Leonard (Quiver) displays few of the literary gifts of his late father, Elmore Leonard, in this serial killer thriller whose protagonist has a plot device, rather than a human being, for a love interest. Ex-Detroit homicide cop O’Clair, who runs a motel in Pompano Beach, Fla., with his stunner of a girlfriend, Virginia, goes in search of a missing beach chair, only to find it occupied by a dead woman in her early 20s, later identified as escort Gloria McMillen. Whoever killed McMillen, who was asphyxiated and violated with a metal rod, also cut out her eyes. The reader soon learns that someone named Frank was scoping out O’Clair and Virginia before kidnapping McMillen and pulling out an X-Acto knife. The m.o. resonates disturbingly for O’Clair, who once worked a similar case. The man convicted for those earlier murders, however, was sentenced to life without parole. The story line, peopled by stereotypes, never deviates from the predictable. Agent: Jeff Posternak, Wylie Agency. (Mar.)