Eyes Wide Open

Eyes Wide Open

3.8 73
by Andrew Gross

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“Gross is a top-notch thriller writer.”
Chicago Sun-Times

“Andrew Gross knows how to make your skin crawl. Eyes Wide Open should be read with the door shut and the lights on; a truly terrifying descent into evil.”
—Nelson DeMille

New York Times bestselling author Andrew Gross solidifies his

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“Gross is a top-notch thriller writer.”
Chicago Sun-Times

“Andrew Gross knows how to make your skin crawl. Eyes Wide Open should be read with the door shut and the lights on; a truly terrifying descent into evil.”
—Nelson DeMille

New York Times bestselling author Andrew Gross solidifies his position as one of today’s very best suspense authors with Eyes Wide Open. Joining his previous bestsellers The Blue Zone, The Dark Tide, Don’t Look Twice, and Reckless, Eyes Wide Open is another brilliant example of the contemporary thriller done absolutely right. In this relentlessly exciting page-turner, a man must investigate a shattering personal tragedy that is somehow connected with a charismatic cult leader from the ‘60s. James Patterson, Harlan Coben, David Baldacci, John Grisham, Jonathan Kellerman, Jeffery Deaver, Lisa Gardner, Nelson DeMille, Tess Gerritsen—Andrew Gross stands tall in their elite company.

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Editorial Reviews

Miami Herald
“An energetic story with brisk action and a personal tale about a family gone awry .. vivid story-telling makes each aspect of EYES WIDE OPEN creepily realistic, including the chilling ending. ”
“Gross is a master of 3-dimensional characters... compelling with its intensity.”
Feathered Quill Book Reviews
“Each and every page of this thriller makes the goosebumps stand up as high as they will go... a superb novel full of fear, chills and mind-games that are truly unforgetable!”
The Oklahoman
“Gross offers dysfunction galore in this psychological thriller.”
St. Augustine Record
“A good read... an eye-opener... a dramatic story.”
“A dark psychological thriller that moves at a fast pace... totally engrossing and one book you do not want to pass on.”
Connecticut Post
“Emotional weight... a harrowing story that works its own terrible magic on a reader... a high velocity page-turner... the personal drama moves us before the thriller elements kick into high gear.
Associated Press Staff
“Gross is a master of 3-D characters….Compelling with its intensity….Gross has written his best book to date.”
“A chilling page-turner drawn from the author’s life.”
Publishers Weekly
Gross's suspenseful second stand-alone thriller (after The Blue Zone) raises chills and strains credulity in almost equal measure. When successful surgeon Jay Erlich learns that his troubled 21-year-old nephew, Evan, the son of his older brother, Charlie, jumped to his death off a rock in California's Morro Bay, Jay travels to the coastal town of Grover Beach to help Charlie and Charlie's wife, Gabriella, "both bipolar, each with a history of drug and alcohol abuse." The distraught couple are wondering why a suicidal Evan was released from the county hospital shortly before the tragedy. Though Jay gets no assistance from Charlie and little from the detective on the case, he discovers some disturbing if obscure clues to other deaths past and present linked to Charlie's involvement in the 1970s with cult figure Russell Houvnanian, who went to prison with some of his commune followers for gruesome murders that echo the Charles Manson killings. Gross ratchets up the violence as Jay and his own family become targets for revenge. (July)
People Magazine
"A chilling page-turner drawn from the author’s life."
Kirkus Reviews
Inspired by the death of the author's nephew,this is a grim psychological thriller sure to shock readers.

Nothing is evil if it's done out of love. Such is the mantra of a convicted murderer's cult followers. A troubled teenager falls from a cliff, an apparent suicide. But why would the boy remove one sneaker before jumping? And where is that sneaker? Evan Erlich's distraught father Charlie is convinced that Evan did not kill himself even though the family had serious internal conflicts. Charlie himself had once led a drug-addled life, and he and his wife Gabby depend on others for their support. Narrator Jay Erlich is Evan's brother and a successful physician with a loving wife and family and far better circumstances in life. He is drawn deeply into a tangle of fear in which Evan's death is only the beginning. Jay initially seeks to comfort his brother and sister-in-law over their son's death, but like any good hero he asks too many questions and never knows when to quit. He crosses paths with Susan Pollack, who has just been released from prison after more than 30 years. Her lover, Russell Houvnanian, is an unrepentant killer with a magnetic personality and a long memory. Houvnanian lingers forever in a super-max prison at California's Pelican Bay and rarely even sees daylight. What can these people possibly have to do with poor Evan or with the other victims who turn up? And what about the eyes carved into the bodies? Trouble piles on trouble, and absolutely no one is safe, even when it seems that no more disasters can happen.

An emotional, frightening study of evil with believable characters and a relentless pace. Readers who wear pacemakers will want to check their batteries before they open the book.

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 7.30(h) x 1.40(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Eyes Wide Open

A Novel
By Andrew Gross

William Morrow

Copyright © 2011 Andrew Gross
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061655968

Chapter One

A myriad of lights flickered brightly in the distance. The whoosh
of the surf cascading against the rocks was only a far-off whisper
hundreds of feet below.
From up here, the lights all seemed just like candles to him.
Millions of candles! Like the whole world had all come out and
assembled before him, an endless procession at his feet.
It made him smile. He had never seen anything more beautiful
fin his life. He had always wondered what it would be like from
up here—the gigantic mound of rock, miles and miles of coastline
stretching below.
Now he knew.
You could probably see all the way to L.A., the boy imagined. He
was no longer a boy really, he was twenty-one—though sometimes
he still felt like one.
What are the voices saying to you now?
He stepped out closer to the ledge. "They're saying this is where
I was meant to be."
He had made the climb up hours ago, before it got dark, to be
alone with his thoughts. To calm the noise that was always in his
head. To see . . . And now it was just so beautiful. And all the voices
had quieted except one.
His angel, he called her. The one voice he could trust.
Have you ever seen anything more beautiful? the angel asked
"No, I haven't." He looked down at the lights of the small coastal
town. "Never."
Waves crashed against the jagged rocks below. His heart picked
up excitedly. "I can see the whole world."
Yes, it's all there for you.
He hadn't taken his meds today. Usually that made him a little
foggy, his thoughts jumbled. But today, maybe for the first time ever,
his mind was clear. Completely clear. "I feel just like Jesus."
Maybe you are, his angel answered.
"Then maybe I should just return from where I came. Maybe
God wants me back. Maybe that's what I'm feeling."
You're not meant for this world, the voice replied. You're
smarter. You were destined for greater things. You've always known
that, right?
Yes. The voice was soothing and close to his ear. His heart began
to pound like the surf. There's only one way to find out . . .
He took another step, closer to the edge, the darkness surrounding
him. The breeze brushed against his face. "That feels good. I feel
good. I feel good about this."
Just spread your arms, his angel instructed him.
"Like wings?" He opened his arms wide. "You mean like this?"
Yes, just like that. Now think of heading home. The pain you
will no longer be feeling. You see those lights? They're all so
beautiful, aren't they?
"They are!"
Beneath him, a piece of the ledge broke loose. It took several
seconds until he heard the sound of it breaking apart on the craggy
rocks below. He stepped back, fear springing up in him. "I'm scared."
Don't be. This is the moment it's all been leading to. All these
years. You know this, don't you?
"Yes." He nodded. "I know . . ."
Then open your arms. Just let the wind caress your face. Let the
darkness take you. It's easy . . .
"I feel it!" the boy said. He spread his arms. "I do."
Feel how loving its touch is. How free of pain. You've been in so
much pain lately.
"I have been. Yes, I have."
It would be good to be rid of the pain, just for once. To stop
the voices. To stop feeling he was letting everyone down. He knew
how much of a burden he was. To his parents. To everyone who had
expectations of him. The absence of pain is heaven, isn't it? Heaven.
That would be nice. To finally be free of it.
Then just reach out, the angel said. Let it take you. Like the
wind. Just think of heading home. That's all it is. You can do that,
can't you?
"I think so," he said, nodding. "I think so."
Sucking in a breath, he stepped farther out on the edge, his pulse
picking up speed. Only the cushion of darkness beneath him. The
welcoming sound of the surf far below. How incredibly peaceful it
all was. And those candles, so beautiful . . .
So this was it . . .
"I'm so sorry!" he shouted to the panoply of lights. To his mother
and father. He knew how much this would hurt and disappoint them.
"Like an angel . . ." he said, shutting his eyes. A final cacophony
built in his brain. He stretched out his arms wide, palms in the air.
"Like this . . . ?"
Yes, just like that, the angel said.
Then fly.


Excerpted from Eyes Wide Open by Andrew Gross Copyright © 2011 by Andrew Gross. Excerpted by permission of William Morrow. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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