Introducing the Criminal Element Book Club!

Close My Eyes by Sophie McKenzieMost book clubs start off well, but soon devolve into wine, cheese, and gossip. Not that we have anything against wine, cheese, or gossip, you understand, but we do actually like to talk about books. And just so we're all on the same page (see what we did there?) to get ours started with a bang, we're giving away ONE HUNDRED EARLY COPIES of Sophie McKenzie's forthcoming thriller, Close My Eyes (available to everyone else July 9, 2013).

When Geniver Loxley lost her daughter at birth eight years ago, her world stopped… and never fully started again. Mothers with strollers still make her flinch; her love of writing has turned into a half-hearted teaching career; and she and her husband, Art, have slipped into the kind of rut that seems inescapable. For Art, the solution is simple: Have another child to replace Beth. For Gen, the thought of replacing her first child feels cruel, nearly unbearable. A part of her will never let go of Beth, no matter how much she needs to move on.

But then a stranger shows up on their doorstep, telling Gen the very thing she’s always desperately longed to hear: that her daughter was not stillborn, but was taken away as a healthy infant. That Beth is still out there, somewhere, waiting to be found. A fissure suddenly opens up in Gen’s carefully reconstructed life, letting in a flood of unanswerable questions. How could this possibly be true? Where is Beth? And why is Art so reluctant to get involved?

As Gen delves into the darkest parts of her past, she starts to realize that finding the answers might open the door to something even worse, a truth that could steal everything she holds close. Even her own life.

Our discussions will be held on our own forum at LibraryThing. If you're not familiar, LibraryThing is an online venue where book lovers can catalog their own “shelves” of books, along with their ratings and descriptions, and share information (should they choose) with other readers. You'll see CrimeHQ already has over a hundred books listed on our shelves, ones that we've posted here with Fresh Meat or excerpts, and we'll continue adding those until we're caught up—whew! Already it's been fun to explore the conversations and other readers involved with the books we've listed.

LibraryThing is free to join, and you can participate in our book club discussions without ever adding any virtual books to your shelves. But since it's a great, already-established forum for setting up online book catalogs and discussions, we thought it would be a great place to hold ours, since it has extra fun, bibliophilic features.

And if that has captured your interest, here's a TRULY awesome incentive — if you join our book club discussion, LibraryThing will upgrade your free account (which allows you to list up to 200 of your own books) to a paid account (meaning unlimited books) at no charge for a year! (Usually the unlimited account is $10 per year or $25 for a lifetime membership.)

Here's how we'll get the early reading copies to you. The first 100 people to send an email with their mailing address (U.S. only, please!) requesting an ARC of Close My Eyes to will receive one. Don't expect a reply, we'll be too busy mailing like maniacs! But once the 100 copies are gone, we will set up an auto-reply that tells you so.

UPDATE: Sorry, we've given away all the early copies, but if you join our book club, LibraryThing will honor the free yearly unlimited membership, and we will be talking about other titles as well. Please feel free to jump in with us anyway and chat about crime in all its many (fictional) forms!

Once you've sent us the email, head on over to LibraryThing and set yourself up a free account. Then join our Criminal Element Book Club discussion group. Once discussion of the book begins (general discussion will begin June 24), anyone who joins in will get their account upgraded!


  1. Angela Dyrcz

    I would love to participate!

  2. Susan Stokes

    I want in… Susan

  3. Laura K. Curtis

    The free books have all been given away, but anyone can join the book club…feel free to head over to and join up and start meeting other book lovers!

  4. Susan Stokes

    Just Signed up…Excited for The Next one to Start..

  5. Kathryn Baxter

    Thanks for the Advance Reader’s Edition of this book. What a suspenseful psychological thriller, author, Sophie McKenzie, has spun! We find Geniver Loxley still stuck and despondent eight years after the stillbirth of her daughter, Beth. Her husband Art, is wildly successful and thrilled to be brought into the Prime Minister’s inner circle. He’s a bit of a celebrity, garnering lots of attention and showing little to his wife. He pushes Gen to try again for a child of their own and go for IVF treatments in order to help her move forward of “stuck”. Gen’s unsure. Beth haunts her dreams; Gen is consumed by thoughts of her – the wonderful young eight year old girl she could have become.
    Then a knock at the door is heard. Lucy O’Donnell tells Gen that her baby was born alive and whisked away. Furthermore, Gen’s husband was in on it. This Lucy had learned from her sister, upon her sister’s deathbed – the sister who, as a nurse, attended Beth’s birth. Lucy’s motives are not pure. She and her husband, who recently lost his job, are short on funds to support their family. Lucy thinks that this revelation is worth some money. Surely Gen and her celebrity husband have plenty of it to spare.
    This news sends Gen reeling. She doesn’t know what to believe, whom to trust and where to turn. But it appears to be her wake-up call as she starts pursuing clues wherever they will take her. Gen wonders whether this news could be true. She wants it to be true. Or is she just going mad?! This read was a thrill a minute and I just couldn’t put the book down.

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