Title: Deadly Eyes
Author: Michael Meyer
Format: Paperback and eBook
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
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About the Book:
James Cuffy, better known as Cuff, is living in paradise with his girlfriend, Rosie, on the small Caribbean island of St. Croix, where the sky is as blue as Cuff’s eyes, the ocean as pretty as Rosie’s cheeks, where the gentle lapping of the waves is a lullaby, and the swaying of the palm trees is a dance. The sandy beaches are as white as sugar, and the horizon is a world away. St. Croix indeed is paradise, the perfect place for living, laughing, and loving.
But the sandy beaches and the turquoise sea can provide no cover from the deadly eyes of the unknown stalker pursuing Cuff. Murder leads to murder as he attempts to untangle the terrible web in which he has suddenly become entangled.
The twists and turns are many, the roads of the fast action leading in all directions. Cuff and Rosie are relentlessly pursued by a diabolical force that shows them no mercy. Do these two good people stand a chance against such sheer evil?
Deadly Eyes provides TWO alternative endings in order to satisfy individual reading preference. Readers have the opportunity to read only the upbeat ending, or they can choose to read the much darker ending, skipping either the first ending or the second one. They also have the option of reading both endings, if they so desire. I am excited by this new concept of offering reading preference choices to my readers.
This was an interesting read: creating great imagery and beauty in the natural world then whacking you in the gut with some horrible event, keeping the reader off balance. The juxtaposition of the beauty and friendliness of island life against dangers from nature and man are so well intertwined that you just start to relax when you are reminded, not always kindly, that caution and awareness of your surroundings is necessary.
The main character, Cuff, was perfectly depicted if difficult to engage with early in the story: his gruff façade placed him in a bit of a rut, and only as the story continues do we see his character deepen and reveal more of the person within, and just how the effects of his life experiences have fueled his initial introductions. He grew on me as I puzzled through his interactions and started to see the man beneath the exterior, as he too struggled with the events as they unfolded.
Secondary characters were also given careful thought, providing traits and stories that gave the reader a sense of reality and empathy; each one stood distinct and clear, and provided a whole host of characters to consider as suspect or potential victim. When the twists and turns started to appear in never ending waves, the complicated webs of motive and opportunity enhanced the story and made the pages fly by. Additionally, the oft repeated “ the eyes, the deadly eyes of St. Croix” held a tensile, near hypnotic rhythm: reminiscent of Poe’s The Raven, serving to reinforce the menace.
Well plotted and detailed, I was surprised by the lack of satisfaction I had in the ending, not a neatly wrapped package with a full sense of justice being dealt that satisfied my need for resolution. The longer I am away from the book, the more it feels justified and realistic, where the need for humanity often can outweigh the need for retribution. Then the second ending created a different reaction, while not wholly satisfying either, the non-stop action and details all fit a touch too conveniently, and didn’t feel as well attached to the story. It does, however, require that you read them both, and make your own choices or meld the two for a better personal feel. While I preferred the first, and found it the ending that stayed with me long after the last page was turned.
The unique structure, clever characters and ebb and flow of action, environment and tension is different to many mystery / thrillers that I have read, but will please fans of the genre in unexpected ways. Meyer has created a page-turning story that doesn’t skimp on details, characters or twists that keep readers guessing.
I received an eBook from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
About the Author:
I have resided in and have visited many places in the world, all of which have contributed in some way to my own published writing. I have literally traveled throughout the world, on numerous occasions. I have lived in Finland, Germany, Thailand, Saudi Arabia (where Covert Dreams is set), and the U.S. Virgin Islands (where Deadly Eyes is set). I gained the wanderlust to see the world, to experience other cultures, at an early age, and this desire has never left me. If anything, it has only gained in intensity as I have aged. I try to travel internationally at least once a year. In the interim, I spend lots of time traveling around both my home state of California and other nearby states.
The local settings in my novels are all authentic. For example, I was an English professor for four years at the University of the Virgin Islands, on the beautiful island of St. Croix, where Deadly Eyes is set. I literally fell in love with the Caribbean, reggae, calypso, the trade winds, sandy beaches, the tropical beauty of the area—everything. I also love a good mystery. Combining my love of the Caribbean with a suspenseful mystery just seemed a natural to me, so Deadly Eyes was given birth.
As a recent retiree from a forty-year career as a professor of writing, I now live in Southern California wine country with my wife, Kitty, and our two adorable rescue cats
See More about Mike at Goodreads