We begin Through Dead Eyes with Alex and his father Jeremy arriving at Schiphol Airport on a rainy day in March. Jeremy is an expert on WW2 and his recent book is a best seller in England and Holland. He’s in Amsterdam to meet with publishers and negotiate a TV deal.
On arrival at the hotel, Alex looks up and is drawn to a face at a window. This is the beginning of coincidences that pull Alex into another era.
Family friend Angelien is studying history for a doctorate and she has journals from an artist who lived across from what is now the hotel (although then it was the home of a wealthy merchant Van Kempen and his daughter Hanna). It is at the antiques market on one of their trips out that Alex is drawn to the Japanese mask. Each time he wears the mask, adjusting to a parallel world gets easier and easier.
Through Dead Eyes is not just about the mask. Running alongside the paranormal is Alex’ pain from his parents breakup and his crush on Angelien. Conflict comes from Angelien’s boyfriend. Amsterdam and the culture is portrayed really well and for me, learning a little about its history gave the story an added edge. My 3 x gt grandfather was a British citizen born in Holland in 1810 and this has given me added impetus to find out more!
On the flight on the way home from Amsterdam, Alex finds out the truth of Hanna and her family. This brings home that sometimes what we see is not the truth but our own interpretation of events! The journey in the car and the ending gave me shivers …
This is definitely a story that YA’s will love. They will identify with the parenting and confused emotions. The horror will engross and the ending will provoke thoughts of what could happen next …
I would like to thank the publishers for accepting my request to review on Netgalley.