Hungry Eyes - Barry Hoffman

(Eyes, #1)

The eyes were always watching.Probing.Hungry.She could feel them as she huddled there, naked, vulnerable, in an iron cage in a twisted man's basement.But now she's free.She isn't vulnerable anymore.She's the one with the power, the need to close the eyes.And she'll close them all. When she's done, there will be no more...HUNGRY EYES.

This one isn't your everyday, run-of-the-mill revenge tale. Shara is a woman who, after suffering a tragedy as a child, sets out to kill a certain number of people for her own private reasons (interesting ones they are.) Deidra, a reporter who knew Shara a long while back, is called in to do the story and also try and help capture the killer. Hungry Eyes focuses on the strong bond the two characters share, as well as the anticipation of the outcome. The plot isn't complex but it is interesting and unpredictable.

When told through Shara's eyes there's a great cat and mouse game being played out. I genuinely felt her emotions about the past and Hoffman writes about memories well enough to let the reader feel the torture the character went through. The main character isn't a regular type of serial killer -- although at first glance it may look like it. There's a purpose to her methods and it's hard to dislike her no matter what she does. Her goal is to get a certain amount of rapists/abusers off the street and through her thinking this will heal her own unique psychological torments. She's strong, intelligent, loves to play psychological games with her friend, and also alone. I LOVED seeing in her head. Her whole viewpoint on the world was so unusual and also tragic yet strong. She didn't play the victim role but her mind was messy and paranoid at times -- great stuff! She's had a hellacious life but doesn't let that hold her back, although she is bitter about people. I really enjoyed who she was and give applause to Hoffman. And the tattoos!!? A definite surprise and something creepy about them at first once revealed.

Deidre as the reporter who knows Shara is behind the crimes is also well-written. She's intelligent herself but newer to the psychological play Shara's used to. A genuinely nice person, her vulnerability comes through and it's a good change in heroine roles. Bottom line: These characters are not stereotypical, they are purely three dimensional, unusual, and fascinating.

Eyes of Prey has a good pace, although it's not focused on action. It does start a little slowly, and just as it's about to try your patience, it speeds off. Much of it is soaked with mental thoughts and ambitions, a very character driven story. The style is easy to understand but well-versed. Hoffman has a talent with words and uses them wisely. He also has a knack for dialogue that I admire.

If you are ever in the mood for a psychological thriller, Hoffman's trilogy is the way to go. The first book, Eyes of Prey, is sensational! Genuine emotion is painted on, and I loved every minute of it. When you care about the characters and outcome as much as Hoffman wants you to, this is a book that will cause grief once the final page is read. Not because of the outcome, but because it's actually over.

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