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Open Your Eyes


Open Your Eyes

Paula Daly has written what begins as a simple story about a wife who discovers that her husband has a secret life. Had, until injuries sustained in a vicious attack damaged his memory and force his wife, Jane, to look for a possible motive.

Investigating Leon’s potential enemies turns out to be difficult when she is also minding their two small children, trying to bring in some income, and coping with a seriously compromised husband with temper tantrums, who can’t remember how to read or write. Ironically, Jane is the aspiring, unpublished author who teaches part time at the local college, while Leon has had a successful career as a crime writer.

"This clever and well-plotted story is a fast, fun read that delivers until the very last page."

In her early 40s and unequipped to manage the family’s finances, let alone provide for their livelihood, Jane is both an attractive, gutsy protagonist and a sympathetic everywoman. She worries about how her children are coping with their not-quite-familiar father, takes offense when the policewoman who is in charge of investigating the attack doesn’t follow up on leads, and despairs when the social workers from the hospital can’t help her cope with Leon. Meanwhile, family and friends do what they can to pitch in, though not everyone is as helpful as they might be.

What makes this novel particularly enjoyable --- other than its unusual setting (Liverpool) and the profession of several of the characters (author) --- is that Jane’s world is so familiar, until it isn’t. Other suspense writers do this well --- Joseph Finder comes to mind --- but Daly has taken this to a new level. Readers finds themselves cheering Jane on, even as the clues mount up and contradict each other, narrowing the path to a satisfactory denouement until it’s hard to imagine where there is one.

It’s a tribute to the author’s sure-handedness that there’s little doubt that a resolution will emerge and All Will Be Explained satisfactorily. Because OPEN YOUR EYES is more of a domestic suspense novel than a thriller, there’s also the promise that the ending will deliver not just a resolution, but also a happy solution.

This clever and well-plotted story is a fast, fun read that delivers until the very last page.

Reviewed by Lorraine W. Shanley on October 19, 2018

Open Your Eyes
by Paula Daly