Description: One, two, three . . . Lisa Dale shuts her eyes and counts to one hundred during a game of hide-and-seek. When she opens them, her four-year-old daughter Ella is gone. Disappeared without a trace. The police, the media and Lisa’s family all think they know who snatched Ella. But what if the person who took her isn’t a stranger? What if they are convinced they are doing the right thing? And what if Lisa’s little girl is in danger of disappearing forever?
Wow. While My Eyes Were Closed is a seriously good read. The label “#1 Bestseller” is well deserved.
It all starts so ordinary. Lisa is wife to Alex and mother to Otis and Ella, and their older sister Chloe. Young Ella is excited about starting school in a few days time and she is also excited that she can climb up to the big slide at the park and wants her mum to come and watch, so when her mother finishes work early she picks Ella up from her gran’s so they can go to the park before going to Otis’ school to see him get a football medal. Older sister Chloe is on holiday in France with her friend.
At the park Ella is bubbling with confidence as she shows her mother how she can now negotiate the slide all by herself. Mindful of the time, eventually Lisa shouts “one more go” but Ella wants to play hide and seek before they leave the park. Ella makes her mum shut her eyes and count but Lisa then hears a scream and opens her eyes to see that Ella has fallen and grazed her hands and knees. But she still wants to hide and wants her mum go go over to the tree, close her eyes and count to 100. Still all quite ordinary and normal. As Lisa heads over, her phone rings and she answers it, talks to a client for a couple of minutes then puts her phone back and then closes her eyes. When she opens them there is no sign of Ella. She carries on looking, all part of the game.
She looks for her in all her usual hiding places and you can feel her concern. She goes round all the places again calling out Ella’s name. She then realises she’ll have to call her mum to pick up Otis from school.
Lisa becomes more and more concerned and you can sense her feeling of panic building. No one seems to have seen Ella and soon other people are looking for her. She can’t get her husband on the phone. He’s in a meeting, so she leaves a voicemail.
Eventually she dials 999 and calls the Police.
Then the nightmare begins. Police, Press, family members being interviewed, the waiting for any news, the revelation that someone on the sex offenders register lives near the park, a possible sighting, police divers searching Ogden Water. How do you face the world when your daughter is missing, knowing people are talking? How would you or I cope?
What makes the story really chilling is that we know early on that Ella has been abducted. We also know who the abductor is, their thoughts, and how they interact with Ella. The abductor seems to see the situation very differently from other people. The abductor knows they are doing the right thing. The tension builds and builds throughout. The story is told in three voices: Lisa, the abductor and a teenage boy called Matthew.
I thought it was great storytelling. Although I knew who the abductor was, I didn’t have any idea how the story would end.
It was so good I kept reading until 2 am just to finish the book. That is the kind of story I like! More please.
Link to Amazon: While My Eyes Were Closed
Author’s website: www.linda-green.com