Only the Eyes: A Novel
Only the Eyes revolves around a series of murders that take place in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, the government of which suppresses the media to maintain the nation’s reputation as a safe, innovative tourist destination. After the murders are leaked to the international press and can no longer be ignored, the Sheikhs of the country. decide to procure an investigative consultant through manipulative means to help them capture the unknown suspect. Former-Special-Agent Ramon Del Toro is now a true-crime writer, and he reluctantly takes on the difficult task of creating a psychological profile of the suspect, much to the chagrin of his young wife who is left alone with a newborn. When Del Toro arrives in the foreign country, he realizes that the U.A.E. is secretive and uncooperative despite requesting his help. To overcome this hurdle, Del Toro befriends a journalist who seems to know more about the recent crimes than the U.A.E. government has led on. As Del Toro quickly discovers, the vast divide between his first-world Western privilege and his host country’s Islamic authoritarianism calls his expertise in criminal profiling into question. After all, he’s not a real criminal profiler anymore; he’s a writer. Nevertheless, he has now found himself the designated expert in a foreign world that knows nothing about the kind of criminal plaguing their country, while he knows almost nothing culture who’s hosting him. Beyond the surface plot of this crime-thriller, the figurative meaning of Only the Eyes expresses the seedy underbelly of a sophisticated urban hotspot that conceals its new world problems through shady dealings, hypocrisy, and suppression. The book’s purpose is meant to challenge the audience’s perception of a world it only experiences through smoke and mirrors. The task for the reader is to wade through the unorthodox literary devices of the novel to piece together who’s story is being told and who’s point of view is lost forever.
Creative writing|Fine arts
Palomo, Jason Michael, "Only the Eyes: A Novel" (2022). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI29211272.