Monday, May 26, 2014

The Book Of You by Claire Kendal

What did she do to cause this?  Clarissa Bourne, in the throes of the breakup of a long-term relationship, goes to the book reading of a professor at the college where she works.  Somehow, she wakes up the next morning in her bed with Rafe Solmes, the professor next to her.  She has no memory of the night.

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 fianc√© 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.


Kristen said...

My heart started to pound just reading the description!

Sandie said...

It is so suspenseful it's hard to put down. And so easy to imagine coming true for most women.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

"a mesmerizing thriller that will strike a chord of recognition and fear in every female reader." Wow, sounds like a very compelling read!

Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.