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Mar-Apr 2016 Night Thousand Eyes > Night Has a Thousand Eyes Part Two (SPOILERS)

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message 1: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Write your comments on Part Two here.

message 2: by Debra (last edited Mar 16, 2016 01:45AM) (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
I liked how McManus took control of the situation and set up a task force to search into various aspects of Tompkins's predictions. I started to believe there WAS some sort of angle, evil plan, to the whole thing.

Was disappointed Harlan deteriorated and didn't fight. He was convinced his death was coming and started dying from the get-go and watching the clocks constantly. I wanted him to have more backbone.

Each of the policeman's lines of inquiry was interesting.

The bugging of the apartment going wrong and the policeman's gun misfiring was unexpected. Tompkins said it wasn't his time to die, and he was right! Then he killed himself in jail. Poor man.

I felt bad for Eileen. At first I thought she might be paying the Reid's back for firing her, but I really couldn't see how that could be engineered. And she ended up killing herself.

The most intriguing police inquiry was the search for a lion. And then one escaped and was heading towards the Reid's home! This was such a red herring, because I was trying to figure out how a lion would get past a guarded home and then into it and kill Harlan. Instead Harlan ended up killing himself by putting his head through a stained glass window... in a lion's jaws! What a shocker! Yet, I suspected something was up when we were told about the granite lions flanking the doorway and the stained glass window.

The first part of this story had me convinced Tompkins was the real deal, then the second part had me convinced the police (Shawn, especially) would find some way to save Harlan. But the seer was right all along.

I was hoping that Shawn and Jean would end up together, but worried that she would hate him for not saving her father. But true love won out. Yay!

Now Shawn sees the stars in a different light... like a night of a thousand eyes.

I just realized something... all the lines of the police inquiries ended up in dead ends... literally each lead, even the lion, ended up dead!

message 3: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments Debra: Excellent point about all of the police inquiries leading to dead ends. In the end their efforts to save Harlan and expose Tomkins as a fraud all failed. I also lost some sympathy for Harlan as he descended into despair. I understood it from the start as he a d Jean were drawn in with such an elaborate scheme, but with the police's help it seemed he should have been able to find some backbone.
Eileen was a puzzle. I got that she was helping others use Tomkins' predictions to make money before she told Jean about the doomed flight, and I understood that she got caught up in it, but was she threatened to make her talk to Jean? I may have missed that explanation and the motive behind Tomkins' participation.

message 4: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Ann, you didn't miss anything. It was never explained why Eileen was compelled to pass on the information about the doomed flight to Jean. Since Tomkins never took the money Harlan gave him and didn't cash any of the checks, it doesn't seem money was a motive. It's a mystery to me, and perhaps a gaping hole in the plot.

message 5: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 801 comments I'm not sure this book is noir fiction. It's more like melodrama. Next to have histrionics is the police chief with the over emphasis of what the case is about and assigning tasks, followed up by Shawn going all ballistic on the clock. I've just finished the chapter where Eileen kills herself. Why did she do that?

In spite of wanting to throw my iPad across the room from time to time, I shall continue to the bitter end. I'm more than half way through.

message 6: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments Janice: I listened while multi tasking more during part two than I did part one. When you are done I have a few thoughts about Eileen. I do wonder what she was trying to buy at the pharmacy.

message 7: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 801 comments So why would the servants all leave? I don't get it. It's not like the house was haunted or that they personally were under any danger.

I've just read the chapter where Jean has a nightmare and Shawn sits by her bed as she falls back to sleep.

@Ann... I wondered if she was attempting to buy something to use as an overdose, but she had her little gun, so that didn't make sense.

message 8: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments Janice: I know, the servants were like rats leaving a sinking ship weren't they! I thought that odd too, though Jean's father was acting pretty crazy and Jean was suicidal, so the household sounds far from normal.
As for Eileen attempting to find something to overdose on at the pharmacy- that could be. It makes sense from a passive less violent suicide perspective. Less bloody than a gun.

Between pure panic and suicide the entire household was affected. I suppose it was "catching", though Eileen at a distance obviously had her own motives. Guilt seems likely. Juxtaposed with the poor but quiet household she seemed to inhabit, it seems a leap.

message 9: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 801 comments Only, the servants didn't know that Jean attempted suicide. They only knew that Harlan was catatonic because of his fear of his own death.

I'll read more tonight and hopefully there'll be some answers as to why Eileen shot herself.

message 10: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
I hadn't considered how melodramatic the whole story was. I didn't even want to read a noir book! Not my favorite genre. You can blame this all on Almeta when she finally gets around to reading the book.

Because it wasn't typical noir, I found myself fascinated with trying to figure out what was REALLY going on and whether Harlan would be saved by all the efforts on his behalf. I dismissed the histrionics and character flaws (except Harlan not having a spine) and just followed the plot. Looking back, I can see why someone wouldn't like the book, but I can't say I ever wanted to throw it across a room. Sorry. Janice. We just haven't picked the best books for you lately!

message 11: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments Debra and Janice
I was glad I read the book in the end but found the tone of the first part the most enjoyable and engaging. I never got invested in the story of the second part mainly because all of the characters seemed a bit off, probably the point I suppose. I had connected to Jean's story, and then the police procedures all seemed disjointed which was jarring to listen to as the various points of views switched back and forth. It was a thought provoking scenario, especially when we went through the emotions of Jean's experience and the initial hook from Tomkins/ Eileen.

message 12: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 801 comments I finished the book last night.

It was never explained why Eileen committed suicide. That was a story-line that should have been followed up or explained. He used it as a device to create suspense. But, it should never have been left unresolved. Why did she kill herself? How did that tie into the story? If it had nothing to do with the story, it should have been left out.

Why did the servants leave? I've already asked that question, but I'll list it again.

The bit with the lion escaping from the circus had nothing to do with the story. It was a red herring certainly. But to go into all the bit with the guy's attempt to murder his wife was irrelevant. It was interesting, but irrelevant.

I thought Harlan's spineless self-pity to be out of character for a man of his business acumen. You would think he would need to be sharp, ruthless, and decisive to wheel and deal to the extent he did. You would think he would have laughed the predictions off and moved on.

I did like that Shawn showed some derision for Harlan. When Harlan called him "son" and he objected to it because his own parents faced death more stoically. Yeah Shawn!

Not to worry, Debra. There have been books I've enjoyed that we've read. Just You and this one haven't been to my taste.

message 13: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments Janice: I decided that greed and arrogance led Harlan to the gullible state where the elaborate scheme to trick him (and Jean) hooked him in. (Mainly greed)
Another link that was never mentioned (Not that I know of) - who sent the telegram that got Harlan off the airplane at the last minute when his bags had already been loaded? What did they say to entice him to get off? We assume it was the embezzler but it seemed to dangle.

As for Eileen's suicide I assumed she could not live with her part in the scheme. What exactly her part was, motivations, connections, were very vague. Leaving things to the imagination are ok, but in these cases unsatisfying.

I gave the book three stars partly for the first part and for the discussion fodder.

message 14: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 801 comments There are two possible outcomes. One is that Eileen and Tomkins were active participants in the scam. The other is that the broker was the only one trying to scam Harlan, with Eileen and Tomkins as unwitting or unwilling pawns.

If Eileen was actively participating, then I could see that she could be overcome with guilt. If not, then it doesn't make sense.

I think Tomkins was unwilling to go along with the broker's scam, and Eileen was an unwitting and unknowing participant in the whole thing.

But, you're right. If you are going to leave things up to a reader's imagination, you have to lead them in the right direction so they arrive at the proper conclusion. This story was too ambiguous and the characters not fleshed out enough to achieve that. See, I never got the feeling that Harlan was greedy.

message 15: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments Janice: I was assigning greed to Harlan based on his compulsion to return to Tompkins over and over to get more tips to gain financially from the advice.
I agree with the suggestion that Eileen was unwittingly and unknowingly participating in the scheme and potentially despondent upon learning of her role. We would have liked some details to allow closure or confirmation of that.

message 16: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Definitely a lot of loose ends and irrelevant threads. I assume they were put there as more red herrings. Funny thing is, I was left to wonder about some things, but I just assumed the writer left some things to our imaginations as a way of keeping us intrigued. It didn't bother me that much.

Ann, I agreed with your defining Harlan as greedy. He demanded more and more information from Tompkins for the sole purpose of making money. He certainly got his comeuppance!

I'm not sure that I saw Harlan as a strong man... perhaps he was a savvy businessman, but that doesn't necessarily mean he ever had a spine to get him through bad times.

Ann and Janice, I've really enjoyed reading your comments and varying perspectives. It has made me rethink a lot about the book. It will stay in my mind longer than most books do because of the discussions.

message 17: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 801 comments I like it when people have varied experiences in reading a book because it generates more discussion. That has the effect of making me consider things with a different perspective than my own.

message 18: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments Debra and Janice: Yes, agreed! I wanted to finish the book because I knew I would enjoy the discussions and looking at the tale in more depth and from other's perspectives as well as my own.
The glimpse back in time when telegrams were common, the class distinctions and curiosity about Jean's life and considering whether Tompkins was the real deal was interesting.

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