Blinded By Our Eyes
Carina Press, 2010
London art dealer Charles Garrett has devoted his life to appreciating and acquiring beauty, both in art and in his companions. His fashionable life is rocked to the core when he discovers the body of a young artist, Paolo Valero, in a pool of blood in his gallery. As Paolo-s mentor, Charles is haunted by the horror of his violent death. Seeking closure, he investigates Paolo-s past and soon discovers a tangled web of motives and potential suspects, some closer to home than he ever imagined. He’s drawn to Antony Walker, an aggressive, handsome sculptor with unsavory ties to Paolo. Charles is unsettled by Antony’s forceful nature but irresistibly attracted to his passion and his art. When the evidence points toward Antony-s guilt, Charles is thrown into emotional turmoil. Has he lost his heart to a killer?
Genre & Keywords:
M/M, Contemporary, Murder mystery, Art
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3 flames
Why I read it:
I received a review copy from the publisher through Netgalley
I’ve read Blinded By Our Eyes before I went on vacation and almost forgot to write a review about it. That would be a shame because this excellent short novel deserves to get some attention. So, let me try to make some sense of the notes that I took a long while ago.
The first thing that I remember is how I enjoyed the writing style. It wasn’t the first book I’ve read by Ms London, and I had the same experience then (with the short story Upwardly Mobile). Her writing is evocative and beautiful; the cadence of the first sentences sucked me in effortlessly. This is how the book opens:
The sound of a man crying was the first shock. Deep, racking sobs echoing off the smooth walls of my showroom. The whole gallery was usually deserted and cool at this late hour, despite the urban truth that London never slept. Yet tonight something in the air resonated with tension. And huddled in the far corner was a slender, pale young man. Arms clenched around his drawn-up knees, his eyes hot and wet, staring at me through a fringe of bedraggled dark curls. He looked angry and scared, and for the first few seconds it was all directed at me.
And this first paragraph not only grabbed my attention because of the wonderful language, in addition it already foreshadows the suspense that was going to keep me invested in this story as well. Because Blinded By Our Eyes is foremost a murder mystery, and the romance takes place in the backseat, so to speak. Gallery owner Charles is trying to figure out who killed one of his most promising artists in his gallery and because the story is told in first person from his point of view solely, we don’t know who to trust or not, along with him. This adds to the suspense, especially when he meets Anthony to whom he feels attracted. Because as far as he knows Anthony could be the killer.
This rather intriguing but simple premise worked very well for me. Although despite of the presence of the murder mystery Blinded By Our Eyes is not really a plot driven but more a character driven story and everything takes place in just a few settings (mainly the art gallery and Anthony’s atelier). The backdrop of the mystery is revealed by bits and pieces of conversation and a nice cast of secondary characters keeps you guessing about the murderer until nearly the end. The only small complaint I have is that the romance between Charles and Anthony played second fiddle because I loved Charles' and Anthony's explosive chemistry. Their HEA came a bit unexpected and too quick.
But overall I loved this well-paced, character driven and beautifully written mystery, that had some hot romance added to the mix.
He stepped back but swayed toward me at the same time, as if his body were confused between what it should and what it wanted to do. His eyes kept flickering over my mouth; his tongue darted out and licked at his own, like he was still tasting me.
“I had to do that. I had to…” He grunted. “What is this? I want to touch you so fucking badly. So much. Can you believe it?”
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Buy Blinded By Our Eyes here
Read an excerpt here