Date Published: March 8, 2012
Publisher: Pacific Books
Print length: 274 pages
Purchase Links: Amazon
Synopsis: James Cuffy, better known as Cuff, is living in paradise with his girlfriend, Rosie, on the small Caribbean island of St. Croix, where the sky is as blue as Cuff’s eyes, the ocean as pretty as Rosie’s cheeks, where the gentle lapping of the waves is a lullaby, and the swaying of the palm trees is a dance. The sandy beaches are as white as sugar, and the horizon is a world away. St. Croix indeed is paradise, the perfect place for living, laughing, and loving.
But the sandy beaches and the turquoise sea can provide no cover from the deadly eyes of the unknown stalker pursuing Cuff. Murder leads to murder as he attempts to untangle the terrible web in which he has suddenly become entangled.
The twists and turns are many, the roads of the fast action leading in all directions. Cuff and Rosie are relentlessly pursued by a diabolical force that shows them no mercy. Do these two good people stand a chance against such sheer evil?
DEADLY EYES BOOK TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWLBtVDUdC4&feature=relmfu
INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
1. Me: Thank you for giving us the honor to chat with you. May you please tell us something about yourself?
Mike: I am a retired English professor. I literally taught at universities throughout the world: Thailand, Saudi Arabia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and I spent the last 25 years of my 40-year career at a California community college. I live in Southern California wine country with my wife, Kitty, and our two other cats.
2. Me: What inspired you to write this book?
Mike: I spent four years on the idyllic Caribbean island of St. Croix, where I was a professor at the University of the Virgin Islands, where I fell in love with all things Caribbean. In addition, I have always loved a good suspenseful mystery, so I thought that setting one in such an exotic locale as St. Croix made a lot of sense.
3. Me: Is being a writer your dream profession?
Mike: I am a retired college professor, so my profession is now behind me. Writing for me is a hobby. I love language, and words have always fascinated me. I thoroughly enjoy creating characters and situations that I like to read. I am a reader as I write. It is a great way to spend my retirement years.
4. Me: Tell us your most rewarding experience as a published writer.
Mike: I have sold books literally throughout the world, and that thrills me no end. As an avid world traveler myself, it excites me when I see that someone in another part of the world has purchased one of my “little babies.”
5. Me: Tell us in few sentences why we must read your book.
Mike: DEADLY EYES is very innovative in that it now provides readers with two alternative endings. One is much darker than the other, and readers are given the choice to read one ending or the other, or both. The book itself is fast-paced and suspenseful, and it is set in a very exotic locale.
6. Me: What book did you wish you had written yourself?
Mike: I can only answer this by saying that I am who I am, and I quite pleased with my own four books to date and with my WIP.
7. Me: If you could be a literary character who would you be and why?
Mike: I would love to be Doc in John Steinbeck’s CANNERY ROW. Doc was a very casual yet professional man who cared deeply about his surroundings and with those around him. In a nutshell, he was a good person.
8. Me: What are the books currently in your nightstand?
Mike: I just returned from a trip to France, so I am currently reading several books dealing with D Day and other World War II events that took place in France.
9. Me: Any current/future projects?
Mike: I hope to write until I die. Writing is my avocation now that my vocation is behind me. I am currently at work on a memoir entitled THE THREE KITTIES THAT SAVED MY LIFE, a personal journey from being widowed to gaining the will to be happy with life again.
10. Me: What advice can you give to those aspiring writers?
Mike: Write, write, and write. That’s what writers do.
Just for fun.
1. What do you on your free time?
I love to travel. There are few countries in the world that I have not had the pleasure to see firsthand. I also am an avid reader.
2. If someone will write you a biography, what would be its title?
LOVE’S GONNA LIFE HERE AGAIN. That’s exactly what my WIP is about, my growth from grieving widower to a newly happily married man.
3. If you have won the lottery, what will be the first thing you will buy?
Lots of gifts for needy and abused children.
4. Where is your favorite place to travel?
I love to travel, period. However, if pinned down to select one specific place, I would say Europe. I just love vacationing in Europe.
5. Any pet peeves?
Just the usual suspects, I suspect.
Contact Links: Website
I read this book a week prior to this review. It was claimed to be a suspense/thriller and I can say that the novel proved to be in the correct genre. Some books were classified incorrectly – a romance drama which will later proved to be horror, or a murder series which turned to be drama instead. Anyway, I am glad to have read something different from the ones I have finished these past few months. When I saw my Goodreads list, I have seen that I haven’t read a thing similar to this one so my expectations on how this novel will turn out were high.
The book was set in Virgin Islands, a paradise well described in a book. Mike Meyer expertly gave me the picture about the setting – the ocean, people, shops, traffic, etc. I smiled when he even mentioned the relaxed life people have in the island – no worry about being late, the Cruzan time, and snail driving. All of these took me leisurely on a flight towards the Caribbean where honeymooners and group of friends go to unwind and have fun. It didn’t take much to conjure this in my mind – as an Asian living in a tropical country, I know exactly what Meyer was talking about and I commend him for correctly describing in such details the laid back life people in islands have.
It was a well-thought novel. Who would expect a suspense and devilish story right in the center of a paradise? After I have pictured myself relaxing in beautiful heaven, Meyer crushed my imagination with a realistic situation in the story. A murder introduced in the first chapters of the book made me gripped the novel and followed through the story. Why so suddenly? I felt stabbed at the back while sipping lemonade in the beach. It was that unexpected. From that point, Meyer got my attention and I agree that this style made the story roll through. It became a scenario where the story revolves at.
The succeeding chapters and the more horrendous events that happened after were masterly planned to connect with the first incident. There were so many twists and turns, people involved, and places named that sometimes I had to go few pages back to check its first reference. No doubt it is a murder story, but it was carefully thought of that it made me extremely frustrated when I couldn’t fathom the identity of the murderer. There were too many instances that made me believe that a certain character would be responsible, only to be pointed at a different character.
However, there were some points that I didn’t like and could be rooms for improvement for the story. Almost in every end of the chapters, the line “The eyes. The Deadly Eyes of St Croix,” were written. At first, it was okay because it showed emphasis and a bit of mystery as to whom those eyes belong, but when I noticed that it was kept that way in the succeeding chapters, it made me annoyed every time I read that. Furthermore, the personality of the main character, James Cuffy, seems to be a bit unreal. I can understand the anger he felt when someone pointed a gun at him, but to make it his driving force to finish the tasks ahead seems unbelievable. If an unknown person attempted to kill you, will you go to great lengths as to know who that person was and his motive? Will you get yourself trapped and buried in a web of complicated scenarios of murder just to know?
Deadly Eyes is a novel created to make people aware that even in a heavenly paradise, some things can go wrong that we won’t be able to anticipate, let alone fix. Sometimes, there is nothing bad in being cautious to your surroundings and doubtful about others’ sincerity.
All in all, it was a gripping, page-turning novel that mystery and suspense thriller fans will enjoy. I couldn’t second guess most of the actions done by the evil persona, but that gave appeal to the story. It was unlike others which are predictable; it convinced me of something only to be fooled later. Even in the ending, I was appalled as to how the character was capable of doing all those wickedness because I didn’t expect it.
I admit at this point that Meyer is a genius in his craft by weaving stories interlinked with each other yet confusing in a way. Readers will definitely be captivated by a unique pull this novel have. Be ready for a rollercoaster ride full of mystery and suspense!
*This review is also available in Goodreads.
** I have received a copy of this book for review.
FOLLOW ALONG THIS TOUR
December 11 – My Cozie Corner – Review
December 11 – My Reading Addiction – Review
December 12 – Dark Seeker Publications – Review/Interview
December 13 – Impressions of a Princess – Review/Interview
December 15 – TE Garden of Books – Review