Close Your Eyes, the latest novel from best-selling author Rachel Abbott, is a tightly written, well-paced crime novel. It welcomes back DCI Tom Douglas and his team, who are called in to investigate the murder of Genevieve Strachan, the wife of local businessman Niall. The case quickly focuses in on one of his employees, the mysterious Martha, about whom, it emerges, very little is known. But is Martha really the murderer? And if not, why did she feel the need to run?

Told from several perspectives, including Tom and Martha’s, and intercut with the past and a place called Lakeside, Close Your Eyes has an intricately woven plot. Martha is a complex woman; previous events and decisions informing her present and leading to her always being on guard and having a bag ready so that she can take off at short notice with her young son. But who is she running from and why?

The theme of a woman faced with a terrible dilemma, often caused by some action or decision made in the past, is a common thread in Abbott’s writing and in Close Your Eyes, the author successfully creates an authentic character in Martha and illustrates how people can so easily be manipulated.

It’s difficult to review this psychological thriller without giving too much away of the plot. Suffice it to say, if you’re a fan of Abbott’s already this won’t disappoint, but if you’re new to the Tom Douglas series, this book can be read as a standalone, although we would urge you to read the other earlier books in the series (listed below). Recommended.


Close My Eyes | Rachel Abbott | Black Dot | 11 February 2021 | paperback |

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The books in the series:

1 – Only The Innocent; 2 – The Back Road; 3 – Sleep Tight; 4 – Stranger Child; 5 – Kill Me Again; 6  – The Sixth Window; 7 – Come A Little Closer; 8 – The Shape of Lies; 9 – Right Behind You; 10 – Close Your Eyes


Acknowledgements: This review is published as part of the virtual book tour. Many thanks to lovely Anne Cater of Random Things Tours, as always, and to the publisher for sending us a book proof and jacket image. All opinions are our own. All rights reserved. Please check out the other wonderful reviewers on this tour and please share them.

Also of interest:Helen Fisher’s wonderful Space Hopper’; ‘Alice Walker and the power of poetry‘; ‘By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’; ‘Sylvia Plath on poetry‘; ‘WB Yeats, “The Journey of the Magi“‘; ‘Yvonne Battle-Fenton’s Remembered‘; ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised‘; ‘We should all be feminists‘; The not-so-invisible woman: 150 greats in their own words’; ‘How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original “Penguin Ten”‘; Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday – Romek Marber for Penguin Crime (book covers we love).

This review is copyright © 2021 by The Literary Shed. All rights are reserved. All opinions expressed are our own. If you wish to reproduce this piece, please contact us for permission and provide the necessary credit. Thank you so much. We welcome your feedback.






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