We are beyond excited to hear that Michael Robotham – one of our favourite crime writers – has become the second Australian ever to be awarded the British Crime Writer’s Association Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year! His book Life or Death scored him the prestigious prize, and he now joins the ranks of former Gold Dagger winners John Le Carre, Ian Rankin and Val MacDermid. Read on for a top review of Michael’s latest brilliantly psychological offering, Close Your Eyes.
For long-time fans of writer Michael Robotham, his latest release signals the welcome return of clinical psychologist Joe O’Loughlin. Joe has stepped back from his crime work and is attempting to repair some of the damage his career has wrought upon his personal life. His efforts to find work–life balance seems to be paying dividends as his estranged wife, Julianne, invites him to spend the summer with her and their daughters. But despite his best intentions, events conspire to draw Joe in to a new case involving the puzzling circumstances surrounding the murder of a mother and daughter, whose deaths have caused community consternation and concern.
Joe feels compelled to assist with the case as it becomes apparent that the police’s efforts have been hampered by the interference of one of Joe’s former students, the ‘Mindhunter’.
True to form for Robotham’s work, this story moves along at a cracking pace but the author never sacrifices the development of each of the key characters in order to do so. Joe’s older daughter, Charlie, is now on the cusp of adulthood and is heading off to university, and the interplay between Julianne and Joe is poignant and heartfelt as Joe struggles to balance duty with his desire to wind back time and start again with his family.
Another brilliant read by writer who continues to both challenge and confound his readers with clever prose and characters with soul.
4 1/2 stars – Sphere $29.99
Reviewed by Maryanne Vagg