A mesmerizing tale of psychological suspense about a woman who must fight to escape an expert manipulator determined to possess her, Claire Kendal's debut novel is a sophisticated and disturbing portrait of compulsion, control, and terror that will appeal to fans of Before I Go to Sleep, The Silent Wife, and Into the Darkest Corner.Read more...
A mesmerizing tale of psychological suspense about a woman who must fight to escape an expert manipulator determined to possess her, Claire Kendal's debut novel is a sophisticated and disturbing portrait of compulsion, control, and terror that will appeal to fans of Before I Go to Sleep, The Silent Wife, and Into the Darkest Corner.
His name is Rafe, and he is everywhere Clarissa turns. At the university where she works. Her favorite sewing shop. The train station. Outside her apartment. His messages choke her voice mail; his gifts litter her mailbox. Since that one regrettable night, his obsession with her has grown, becoming more terrifying with each passing day. And as Rafe has made clear, he will never let her go.
Clarissa's only escape from this harrowing nightmare is inside a courtroom--where she is a juror on a trial involving a victim whose experiences eerily parallel her own. There she finds some peace and even makes new friends, including an attractive widower named Robert, whose caring attentions make her feel desired and safe. But as a disturbingly violent crime unfolds in the courtroom, Clarissa realizes that to survive she must expose Rafe herself. Conceiving a plan, she begins collecting the evidence of Rafe's madness to use against him--a record of terror that will force her to relive every excruciating moment she desperately wants to forget. Proof that will reveal the twisted, macabre fairy tale that Rafe has spun around them . . . with an ending more horrifying than her darkest fears.
Masterfully constructed, filled with exquisite tension and a pervasive sense of menace, The Book of You explores the lines between love and compulsion, fantasy and reality, and offers a heart-stopping portrait of a woman determined to survive. Claire Kendal's extraordinary debut will haunt readers long after it reaches its terrifying, breathtaking conclusion.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-02-17
- Reviewer: Staff
Obsession masquerades as love in British author Kendal’s intimate, chilling first novel, an update of Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa. One night, after a launch party at a Bath bookshop for a scholarly study of fairy tales, Clarissa Bourne agrees to let the book’s author, academic Rafe Solmes, walk her home. The next morning, she awakens with Rafe in her bed, with no memory of how she got there and the suspicion that he’s drugged and raped her. Although she avoids him, he calls and texts constantly, lurks near her house, and showers her with unwanted (but extravagant) gifts. Summoned for jury duty, Clarissa watches a rape victim pilloried on the witness stand, and she realizes how easily Rafe could discredit her stalking allegations. So she meticulously documents his efforts to contact her. Rafe goes from being manipulative to overtly menacing, especially after Clarissa becomes involved with a fellow juror. With flawless timing, the author traces how Rafe isolates Clarissa, threatens her, and pries into the most private details of her life, while also deftly incorporating Rafe’s interest in sadistic, sexually violent fairy tales. Kendal spins a tale that’s troubling, raw, and gripping. Agent: Euan Thorneycroft, A.M. Heath (U.K.). (May)