Friday, 12 July 2019

The Closer I Get by Paul Burston - Blog Tour Review

Tom is a successful author, but for the first time in his life, he has writer's block. His main distraction is an online admirer, Evie, who simply won't leave him alone. Evie is smart, well read and unstable; she lives with her sick father and her social media friendships are not only her escape, but everything she has. When she's hit with a restraining order, her world collapses, whilst Tom is free to live his life again, and to concentrate on writing.

But things aren't adding up. For Tom is also addicted to his online relationships, and when they take a darker, more menacing turn, he's powerless to change things. Because maybe he needs Evie more than he's letting on.

A compulsive, disturbingly relevant, twisty and powerful psychological thriller, The Closer I Get is also a searing commentary on the fragility and insincerity of online relationships, and the danger that can lurk on the other side of a screen.

My Review

As soon as I started reading The Closer I Get I knew I was going to love it. Having never read any of Paul Burston's work before, I was pleasantly surprised just how much I enjoyed his storytelling style. Fast paced, action packed and with a great message behind it.

This book serves as a a stark warning about the perils of social media, and how it can be used in the wrong way. When does being a fan and supporting someone's work cross the line into stalking/harassment? Evie doesn't just step over that line, she takes a massive hop, step and a jump over it!

Tom is an author struggling to write his next masterpiece and Evie is a troubled, lonely woman who lives her whole life online. She is a big fan of Tom and can't seem to find a way to control her obsession with him. No restraining order is going to stop her, and Tom doesn't know what she is really capable of. 

I myself was not really a fan of Tom, I found him to be a bit up himself and slightly rude, especially to his closest friend, Emma. I don't know if it was the authors intention to make him likeable or not. When Tom meets Colin I did start to warm to him a bit. Colin is a neighbour who Tom meets when he decides to get away from it all for a whole to concentrate on writing. I loved Colin, he is a confidante to Tom when he needs it the most. The friendship that develops between them was lovely to read.

One of my favourite things about The Closer I Get is that the story is told from both Tom and Evie's perspectives. I always like this in a book as it gives two sides of the same situation. Boy were Evie's thoughts disturbing to read! Through Evie's thoughts I got more of an insight into why she is the way she is. She certainly doesn't read situations in quite the same way as other people.

I can't say too much more without spoiling the book for people, but The Closer I Get is a tense, page turner and one that will stay with me for a while. Paul Burston is an incredible author who has written an outstanding novel and I can't wait to read more from him.

About The Author

Paul Burston is the author of five novels and the editor of two short story collections. His most recent novel The Black Path, was a WHSmith bestseller. His first novel, Shameless, was shortlisted for the State of Britain Award. His third novel, Lovers & Losers was shortlisted for a Stonewall Award. His fourth, The Gay Divorcee, was optioned for television. He was a founding editor of Attitude magazine and has written for many publications including Guardian, Independent, Time Out, The Times and Sunday Times. In March 2016, he was featured in the British Council's #FiveFilms4Freedom Global List 2016, celebrating "33 visionary people who are promoting freedom, equality and LGBT rights around the world". He is the founder and host of London's award-winning LGBT+ literary salon Polari and founder and chair of The Polari First Book Prize for new writing and the newly announced Polari Prize.


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