The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer

Petrona Remembered…


The Shut Eye

Today’s review is appearing on the blog Petrona Remembered.

Petrona was the blog name of Maxine Clarke, a stalwart of the crime fiction blogging community until her death in 2012. I didn’t know her personally, but I hadn’t been blogging for long before I discovered how highly regarded she was both in the blogosphere and as one of Amazon UK’s top reviewers. It’s an honour therefore to contribute a review to the blog set up and run in her memory. I hope you’ll pop over to see my review and, while you’re there, you’ll find great recommendations from many other crime fiction bloggers, each of whom have selected a book that they think Maxine would have enjoyed. Don’t forget to follow – there’s a new recommendation from a different blogger every month.

Since the plot of my recommendation involves missing children, given my comments on last week’s review of The Winter Foundlings, you’ll also get to see how completely inconsistent I am when it comes to books – in the end, it’s all down to the quality of the writing… 😉


The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer reviewed on Petrona Remembered



37 thoughts on “The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer

  1. That is super super cool!!! I think, FEF, you’re the new best voice as far as book reviewers go. Especially if it’s crime, I’m thinking.

    Do tell me there’s a happy ending, though? What happened to Edie? I bet Daniel killed the bad chap.

  2. It is indeed all down to the writing quality, FictionFan. Thank you very much for being a part of Petrona Remembered, and for contributing such a fine review.

  3. “in the end, it’s all down to the quality of the writing…” That is the truth. There are some kinds of books that I don’t even look at twice. But, occasionally, I find one that is worth the time to read it.

  4. Nothing to do with the review, FF (Ms Bauer not really my Lapsang Souchong) but it’s the unsettling, distressing oddness of internet ‘vanishings’ Whether someone who did know the person behind the blog lets the community know what has happened, or whether someone just stops blogging – and you really have no idea why and what (if anything) has happened, it’s a strange new type of grieving for an absence. I find myself weirdly worrying about people whose posts I looked forward to, people who commented/whom I commented on, and then, suddenly, there are no new blog posts from that person. I tell myself that probably they just got bored of blogging, lives changed, no more time for the hours it all takes etc………..but there’s always that hidden worry. Maybe ‘grief’ is too strong a word….but there is a definite feeling of unsettle!

    • I’m with you, LF. I’m missing a blogger from Australia who vanished to the point of deleting her website with nary a good-bye. I know she had been ill. But without a word? It is such a stark reminder of how small a frogsplash each of us is in that Ocean at the End of the Lane. 😀

      • Indeed! But though we’re all only online buddies, I still worry nearly as much as I would if a friend disappeared in real life – except that online we know that probably the person has just got bored blogging. But I do wish that people would do a farewell post in such circumstances – and that’s the problem. If they don’t, it becomes hard not to assume the worst…

    • Yes, that’s the one aspect of online life that bothers me too. I actually think that if people decide to stop blogging they should really post to say so. We must all know that we worry when someone disappears. I’ve had a couple like Jilanne described – where the whole blog has been closed down, and even Twitter accounts have disappeared. It does worry me – and I must admit if the person turns up again months later, I find myself irrationally annoyed that they didn’t bother to do a quick post to let people know they’re OK. I’ve even left a message occasionally just saying ‘Are you OK’, got no response, thought the worst, and then the person turns up again. We can’t ever know what’s going on in people’s ‘real’ lives, of course, but there must be very few circumstances where it’s impossible to post a one-liner saying ‘All well, taking a little break.’

      I keep meaning to arrange for someone to tell my online buddies if I get run down by a bus, but never get around to it…

      • I guess in a few years time it will be part of a kind of understood netiquette to write into our wills that the executors of our estate should have the wherewithal eg password and blogname etc to post the news of our untimely demise. No doubt the organised amongst us will perhaps think a bit if/when we reach that point when we decide to hang up the blog pen, for a sabbatical, or forever, and say ‘I am going to take a break……’ I know both you and I have had small alarms when there seems to be no activity on each other’s almost clockwork ish postings, and have fretted!

        • I know – it’s the regular ones that worry me most. Some people blog in fits and starts and I’m afraid I quite possibly wouldn’t notice if they stopped, or at least not for a long time. But people who post and/or comment regularly should really submit a note to the teacher if they want time off!! Haha! A somewhat morbid subject, but you should know that my brother has strict instructions to e-mail you in the event of my unanticipated lorry-squishing… so you can assume that silence on my part must not be fatal until you hear otherwise… 😉

          • That is so kind, thank you. Of course, you realise that if ever an email appears from your brother I will start weeping and waiting immediately without opening it, failing to realise that he has been busy organising a mass round up of the FictionFan Fanbase to a surprise party he has decided to organise on your behalf.

            • Haha! Wouldn’t it be awful if you then opened the e-mail and discovered I was still alive??? Just when you’d started working out your mourning outfit with colour co-ordinated bag and shoes…

  5. Love the review even if I didn’t enjoy this book as much as you did. The more I review the more I find myself questioning what really makes me decide what I consider a good book, I’m not sure it is easy to define. It is far easier to say what I don’t like but like you, even this can be inconsistent. I’ll just have to keep reading until I figure it out I think 😉

    • Thanks, Cleo! Yes, isn’t it funny how hard it is to pin down. Every time I say I love something or hate something, I’ll find I’m contradicting myself in the next review! Haha! I like your plan – I think I’ll do that too… 😉

  6. I have this on my list too:) Looking forward to it. And agree so hard to decide the merits of a book- I am thinking that along with some must have elements – good writing, characters you can relate to…the rest is an emotional response that varies so much with the day, what you have recently read etc…

  7. Woops, I didn’t mean to ‘like’ this twice, except sometimes I do like posts so much that I want to push ‘like’ over and over again. Even when I haven’t heard of the book or author I enjoy your reviews, although I can’t keep up with the growing list of books to read…

    • Haha! Please like as often as you…er…like! 😉 Thank you very much! I know – I’m the same when I read reviews – I could easily add about three times as many books as I could ever possibly read!

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