Eyes Wide Open
Review: When Jay Erlich learns that his 21-year-old nephew Evan has died in California, he flies from his home in New York to be with his brother and sister-in-law, only to discover that the circumstances surrounding Evan's death are far from clear in Eyes Wide Open, a stand-alone novel of suspense by Andrew Gross.
As a teen, Evan Erlich was diagnosed as bipolar, just like his father, Charlie. Though both Charlie and his younger brother Jay were intellectually brilliant, Jay led the quiet life of a student, eventually graduating from medical school and becoming a successful surgeon, while his older brother Charlie led the wild life of a stoned musician. It wasn't until Charlie got caught up in a cult that committed a string of murders that he finally decided to straighten out his life, meeting his future wife Gabby at a recovery clinic. Settling down in a small California coastal town with their son Evan, they hoped to lead a quiet life. But as a child, Evan was troubled, getting into scrapes at school, which eventually turned into brushes with the law. Ordered for treatment at a clinic, he was there only a few days before being released. Refusing to return home, he was later found dead at the base of a cliff, from which he either fell, or more probably, jumped. Jay, always a bit distant emotionally from his brother and his family, but now in California to support them, comes to realize there may be more to his nephew's death than he was led to believe.
Eyes Wide Open is a strongly written, deftly plotted novel of suspense about the lives of an extended family and the misfortune that brings them together. But it is also about secrets and lies, deceptions and truths, fantasy and reality. Gross used a tragedy in his own family, the death of his nephew Alex Jeffrey Gross, as an inspiration for this novel. But even without knowing this, there's an underlying sense that he knows these characters all too well, that it is a personal story, fictional to be sure, but one from the heart.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Eyes Wide Open.
Acknowledgment: Meryl L. Moss Media Relations provided a copy of Eyes Wide Open for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Dark Tide
William Morrow (Hardcover), March 2008
ISBN-13: 9780061143427; ISBN-10: 0061143421
Location(s) referenced in Eyes Wide Open: California
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Eyes Wide Open by Andrew Gross
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: June 2011
List Price: $25.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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