With The Silence in Her Eyes, author Armando Lucas Correa has put together a well-crafted, well thought out psychological suspense novel based on a great Anais Nin quote, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
At 28, Leah has had akinetopsia for the past 20 years. It’s a rare neurological condition or ‘motion blindness’, which means you can’t see motion. Vision is a blurry photograph. Blink and it’s a different photo. And because Leah uses a white cane, people assume she’s blind. In fact, Leah’s sense of hearing and smell have developed to the point where she “sees” quite well.
The book is cleverly written in the first person, so you get a feel for the challenges and limitations of this rare disorder. It’s not usually permanent, but in Leah’s case, it has made both reality and dreamland a grey area. You get to walk with her to the Upper West Side Manhattan apartment she calls home – her mom, who’s been her primary caregiver has just died. Her dad passed away 20 years ago. Her longtime housekeeper, her elderly neighbour, her doctor and the odd social worker have become as close to family as she’ll get. Then along comes Alice to the abutting third floor unit and things change.
Somebody has broken into Leah’s apartment, and she can smell a presence, but is it real or imagined? She discovers that Alice is in the middle of a messy divorce and is being haunted by an abusive husband. Leah is convinced her neighbour is in grave danger. Next door, Leah literally hears her pain and concludes her only friend must be protected – but at what cost? Are Leah’s actions driven by misguided courage or something darker and more fundamental? Your call. The book becomes a page turner – a psychological thriller that has the feel of Hitchcock’s Rear Window. It represents a huge change for the author, Correa, who’s had a handful of historical fiction novels to his credit.
A spellbinding read. 9 out of 10.
The Silence in Her Eyes copyright © 2024 by emanaluC Production Corp.
Published by ATRIA Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Inc., New York, NY
by Laurie Wallace-Lynch