The unique thing about “Eyes Wide Open” (HarperCollins Publishers, 2011) is that it was inspired by a real life tragedy. In 2009, the author’s 25 year old nephew, Alex Gross, was found at the bottom of a cliff at Morrow Bay, having jumped or fallen to his death. Severely troubled, Alex had only days before been released from a hospital mental health ward in care of a small halfway facility from which he went for a walk, never to return. Was it suicide or something else?
Andrew has taken this real-life and very personal happening and crafted a book which begins wth a fictional character suffering the same fate as Alex, and then proceeds to unravel the mystery of his death. It is also a story of two brothers, one successful and one wayward, trying to bridge the gap between them, while each revelation from the past puts them in more danger.
Andrew has made this story exciting, thought-provoking, and also heart-wrenching, all the more so because of its link to real life, and it is well worth a read. An author who may never find the solution to his own real life mystery has perhaps achieved some sort of closure by inventing a fictionalized solution for his characters. Well done, Andrew.
To read about Alex and the circumstances of his tragic death go to www.alexwemissyou.com.
If you like James Patterson, you will like Andrew Gross, one of my favorite authors. As a matter of fact, Andrew began his writing career by co-authoring five books with Patterson (The Jester, Lifeguard, 2nd Chance, 3rd Degree, and Judge and Jury), which I’m sure is how he learned the fast pacing and non-stop action typical of a Patterson novel. Andrew is now a best-selling author in his own right, with four published books and a fifth due out this year.
In “The Blue Zone”, his first solo effort, medical researcher Kate Raab is shocked when her father is arrested and charged with laundering money for a Columbian drug cartel. He is forced to testify against his accomplices, and when a hit squad tries to kill the entire family all except Kate must go into Witness Protection. As Kate comes to realize she is still in danger she also becomes convinced that her father has lied about the extent of his involvement with the drug cartel, so she decides she must find him and uncover the truth in order to get her life back.
I particularly liked this book, probably because of the courageous female protagonist. (Anyone who reads my blog knows this is my favorite kind of story.) So I’m hoping Andrew will write more of these.
His next three books are a series about Detective Ty Hauck (The Dark Tide, Don’t Look Twice, and Reckless), although each is a stand-alone story, so you can read them in any order. They are fast-paced and filled with action.
I won’t summarize the plots here, but you can read about them at Andrew’s Website, www.andrewgrossbooks.com.
The new book, “Eyes Wide Open” will be released on July 12, 2011, and you can be sure I will be reading this one as soon as possible and reviewing it for you. In the meantime, be sure to try the others – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!