Eyes Wide Open
Morrow, Jul 12 2011, $25.99
In Morro Bay, California, twenty-one year old Evan Erlich leaps off a rock to his death in what was an apparent suicide. Evan’s father Charlie calls his younger brother Jay with the news. Though the siblings are estranged, Jay leaves his medical practice to go across the country to Grover Beach to be there for his sibling and his sister-in-law Gabriella.
Charlie tells Jay he had troubled Evan committed out of fear his son would kill himself, but does not believe the lad took his life. However the state released Evan just before he killed himself. Being a doctor, Jay believes the institution has negligence liability based on their releasing a potential suicidal person. Jay investigates his nephew’s death and soon uncovers murky links to other questionable deaths and Charlie's 1970s relationship with cultist murderer Russell Houvnanian while the local cops starting with dedicated Detective Sherwood tell him to go home.
With an obvious link to the Manson murders, this exciting thriller starts off as a slow paced family drama as parents and an uncle deal with the suicide of the next generation. However, once Jay begins his resolute obstinate inquiry, the plot accelerates as he begins to find a horrific murderers’ row which targets the Erlich trio.