Book reviews Thriller

Those Empty Eyes by Charlie Donlea

About the Book- Those Empty Eyes by Charlie Donlea

Alex Armstrong has changed everything about herself—her name, her appearance, her backstory. She’s no longer the terrified teenager a rapt audience saw on television, emerging in handcuffs from the quiet suburban home the night her family was massacred. That girl, Alexandra Quinlan, nicknamed Empty Eyes by the media, was accused of the killings, fought to clear her name, and later took the stand during her highly publicized defamation lawsuit that captured the attention of the nation. 

It’s been ten years since, and Alex hasn’t stopped searching for answers about the night her family was killed, even as she continues to hide her real identity from true crime fanatics and grasping reporters still desperate to locate her. As a legal investigator, she works tirelessly to secure justice for others, too. People like Matthew Claymore, who’s under suspicion in the disappearance of his girlfriend, a student journalist named Laura McAllister.

Laura was about to break a major story about rape and cover-ups on her college campus. Alex believes Matthew is innocent, and unearths stunning revelations about the university’s faculty, fraternity members, and powerful parents willing to do anything to protect their children.

Most shocking of all—as Alex digs into Laura’s disappearance, she realizes there are unexpected connections to the murder of her own family. For as different as the crimes may seem, they each hinge on one sinister truth: no one is quite who they seem to be . . .

Goodreads Page

“A missing girl was more interesting than a dead girl. And a dead girl was interesting only as long as her killer was on the loose. It was the sad reality of American society. Gory crimes captured the public’s interest, especially if they involved young, attractive women. But that curiosity lasted only as long as there was mystery surrounding the gore and the girl. Once the pieces were laid out and the puzzle was assembled, the public’s thirst was quenched.”

Read on for our review of Those Empty Eyes by Charlie Donlea

Our Review of Those Empty Eyes by Charlie Donlea

This book confused me a lot. I feel that this book suffers from multiple personality disorder for the fact that it behaves and does things completely differently from time to time. I had a hard time tapping into the main pulse and plot of the book as it kept shifting its focus, the moment it seemed to be getting somewhere. 

So I had this book on audio and sometimes the audiobook artist can make it a bit difficult to get into the book but in this case, it was more the book than the narrator. Those empty eyes as I mentioned before keeps going through various story arc and almost feels unhinged and lack sync with what happens before and after.

The book begins with an extremely gripping story and it’s so intense and good that you feel the book is going to take you somewhere interesting. There is a murder, suspects lined up, trial and everything in between that keeps it gripping and then almost suddenly that story track ends. Just like that, you wonder what happened. Then with a flick of a page, the book just lands in another period ( no ! not time travelling but just that the book takes a time leap) and then it starts with a completely new story track. 

Ah! Well hello! what about the one that was going on?

To make it worse, you then start getting dragged into this new phase of the book because the new track is that good and intriguing as well. A new murder, investigation, chase… On one end you want to pull out your hair wondering what happened with the first track yet you don’t want to lose on the one that is going on. It’s like the book takes a break from whatever is going on. Starts a new story, grips you in and says forget about the before and focus on the now. Then you get gripped only for it to end suddenly too.

Then towards the very end, the book takes on another track while remembering the first track and tries to tie everything together and then it’s all chaos from there again. This switching between various story tracks is what makes it cumbersome with the book. It’s like a combination of multiple stories which makes it a bit harder to stay in the loop.


If you hate romance then this is your book because it got none or at least you get more reason to hate it. Ok that was actually pretty harsh. Sorry about that. Basically if you have been a fan of the series for its romance then don’t come looking for that in here but if you had love the whole ExcelsiCon universe, then yes go for it. The book has everything else working in it except for the romance.

Squirrel Rating

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