Mystery/Thriller, Romance

Close Your Eyes by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen – Kendra Michael #1

I was out looking for a new mystery/thriller series to get into and the librarian recommended I read this one. While I’ve seen Iris Johansen’s name before, I’ve never actually read anything by her so I was quite curious to see what her writing style would be like. I also really liked the premise of this book, because if there is a badass female protagonist, you know I’m going to want to read it!

The FBI chooses its consultants carefully for their skills. It’s a rare thing to hear of them consulting a music therapist. However, Kendra Michael is more than just a therapist; she has astonishing powers of observation and analysis. Blind for the first 20 years of her life, Kendra has a heightened ability to perceive things around her, and she is very capable at using her skills to solve the crime. While Kendra dislikes working for the FBI, she can’t deny that she is a useful tool.

Ex-FBI agent Adam Lynch has a weapon of his own. Known as The Puppetmaster, he is a skillful manipulator, who will do anything to get the results he wants. Now, he needs Kendra’s talents to help solve his recent case. She reluctantly agrees when she finds out that Agent Jeff Stedler, Kendra’s ex, has gone missing and may have run into the path of a serial killer. As they follow their leads, it soon becomes clear that something larger is afoot: a secret that is worth killing for, again and again.

I was really excited for this novel because I was very intrigued by Kendra’s character. I wanted to know how the authors would portray her. At first, I really enjoyed her blunt attitude and her amazing talent; it almost reminded me of a mix between Bones and The Mentalist. But pretty soon I got bored of Kendra. She just … didn’t have much of a personality. She was cold and hard to connect to, and there were times when she was unnecessarily harsh to those around her. Her sudden outbursts of emotion were startling because it seemed so out of place based on the way she had been acting previously. She also kept harping on the same point over and over again, and that became tiresome really quickly.

Adam Lynch was also a character that I was intrigued by, but he too disappointed me in the end. He had no personality. I don’t even know how to describe him because he was so bland. He just smiled all the time and drove Kendra around. While I liked seeing Kendra as the star of the show, her cold personality combined with his bland one did nothing for the story. They had absolutely no chemistry and so there was really no romance at all to see.

I liked the initial plot, which was fast-paced and interesting. However, I began to feel bored at about the midway point and had to push myself through the story. There were so many things happening and the connections weren’t made tight enough for my liking, and that made me less focused. The twist at the end wasn’t anything too special, and in the end I felt like this novel was just like any other midlevel detective story.

I had really high expectations for this series as well as these authors but unfortunately, I was disappointed. If you are looking for a fast-paced, easy detective novel, then give this one a go. But if you like something more deep, then don’t bother with this series.

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