PSYCHOLOGICAL SUSPENSE / DARK FANTASY
Written by Dennis Haseley. Adapted from his novel of the same name.
Comps: DORIAN GRAY meets VERTIGO
LOGLINE: In this dream-like detective story, an adolescent boy must uncover a terrifying crime from his past. He is aided in his investigations by his eerie ability to speak to the figures in works of art, which allows him to question the other witnesses: the paintings that were on the walls of the room where the crime was committed.
Dennis Haseley is the critically-acclaimed author of twenty books, including novels for adults, middle grade and YA readers, and picture book texts.
His six novels have brought critical comparisons to the work of Natalie Babbitt, Robert Cormier, David Lynch, and Oscar Wilde.
His novel Shadows (Farrar Straus & Giroux) was described in The New York Times Book Review as “one of those rarities—a beautifully written novel for readers in the middle grades.”
Publisher’s Weekly favorably compared his novel Dr . Gravity (Farrar) to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Dennis’s books have been optioned for film and adapted for other media.
Richard, an adolescent boy, has the uncanny ability to move into and out of paintings, where the figures speak to him and he to them.
In this dreamlike, psychological detective story, he plays the roles of both detective and witness to the crime that was committed years earlier.
The other witnesses to the crime are the paintings on the walls of the room where the crime was committed. As Richard traces one painting to the next, he pieces together the story image by remembered image—of storms, a panicked horse, mythological figures, and a young woman in a blue dress.
They lead him forward to the terrifying gallery where his past is unveiled, and the future course of his life will be determined.
The script speaks to the power of buried trauma, and how the past can be hidden in plain sight. Although it has an adolescent protagonist, Trick of the Eye is intended for adult audiences.
KIRKUS “Victorian archness, a foreboding atmosphere…contour the plot that slowly builds into a surreal tale akin to The Portrait of Dorian Gray. Bizarrely intriguing.”
NPR “if David Lynch tried his hand at fiction, he might end up with something like this.” (Reviewer for Public Radio)
LitPick “Trick of the Eye will keep you in suspense…and leave you in astonishment when you reach the end.”