“Before Her Eyes” is not usually the kind of book I read, but I agreed to review this book as a nice break from the usual fantasy and science fiction books I review. I thought it would be a quick and easy read of solving a murder mystery in a small town, but I was wrong. This book is so much more than that and it made me stop and think about how we all judge people based on our own perceptions and biases of who we think they are when we look at them.
The story revolves around Sherriff Dove Connelly, a good moral stand-up kind of guy who battles his own inner demons while trying to solve the murder of his friend, Fritz, the local store owner, and the kidnapping of Tessa Bradley, a local socialite, from the scene of the crime. Throughout the investigation that covers 48 hours, everything that Dove thought he knew about the people of his mountain enclave is challenged, warped and then twisted back into a new slot. Even Dove himself must undergo this torturous journey if he ever wants to have peace and happiness with his wife and child.
The author lets the story unfold through two viewpoints – third person to follow Dove and the investigation and first person for Tessa Bradley. It is Tessa’s voice that draws you in, haunts you, makes you listen to her, and leaves you a shadow of former yourself when she’s done with you. Her beauty blinds all who see her, but no one really sees her, no one really knows her, all except for one, and he’s never met her before. Dove is determined to find Tessa not because she’s a beautiful woman, but because she is a woman in need and that’s his job.
This book makes you think and I like that. I highly recommend it, but make sure you carve out the time to read it because once you start, you won’t want to put it down until the last word is read.