Monday, May 26, 2014
The Book Of You by Claire Kendal
Rafe, however, has memorized every second and thinks it is the start of a serious relationship. No matter how Clarissa tries to dissuade him, he sends her notes, calls her, is everywhere she goes. As her refusals of his attentions mount, so does his obsession with her. Soon the calls become nonstop and he insists on acting as if she is with him, his fiancé as he calls her to others who see them.
Clarissa feels increasingly trapped, and not sure of what happened that one night, unsure how her story will be perceived by the authorities. When she finally calls, she is told that the police can do nothing without evidence. She starts to collect evidence and follows the advice of the pamphlets that she collects about how stalking victims should act. Soon her only relief from Rafe is her daily journey to a court where she has been chosen as a juror in a long trial. Unfortunately, the trial is about a woman who was also victimized, and Clarissa is faced daily with what can happen to her if she can't dislodge Rafe from her life. She meets a widower on the jury panel who makes her feel that she could have a new relationship if she can only dislodge Rafe, but even that hope is squashed as she is ashamed of what her life has become and fearful of what Rafe might do to any other man she shows interest in.
Claire Kendal has written a mesmerizing thriller that will strike a chord of recognition and fear in every female reader. The way Rafe worms himself into Clarissa's life and her growing disquiet that morphs into self-imprisonment shows how easily almost any woman can be caught up in a stalker's self-delusions, and the difficulty of dislodging attentions and getting back one's life can be. The author uses classical and fairy tale allusions to deepen the unease the reader feels as they empathize with Clarissa. This book is recommended for thriller readers and those interested in the psychology of stalkers.