Happy Wednesday everyone!! I am seriously excited as tomorrow is the start of my three(ish) days in Harrogate for the Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. But before I get too giddy, I’m delighted to be welcoming the epic blog tour for Paul Burston’s The Closer I Get to A Knight’s Reads. I’m alongside the fab Donna Maguire over at DonnasBookBlog so pop over and catch her post.
Huge thanks to the lovely Anne Cater for inviting me on the blog tour and to Orenda Books for my e-copy of The Closer I Get.
Tom is a successful author, but he’s struggling to finish his novel. 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 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 is turned upside down, and Tom is free to live his life again, to concentrate on writing.
But things aren’t really adding up. For Tom is distracted but also addicted to his online relationships, and when they take a darker, more menacing turn, he feels 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 just one ‘like’ away…
What Did I Think?
‘We don’t decide when we fall in love. We don’t choose it. It chooses us. We have no more control over it than we have control over the weather.’
Love is a strange thing; it’s an amazing thing when it’s reciprocated but unrequited love is a painful feeling. And do you know really know the person you fall for? Can you ever know anyone completely?
To start with, I felt sorry for Tom – the unwanted attention that when spurned went very very sour. But the more I got to know him, the less I liked him. He has some not-so-redeeming qualities. If I didn’t know better, I’d have said he gave authors a bad, prima-donna name. In a similar way, I had totally mixed emotions towards Evie. On the one hand she is a wee(!) bit loopy, clingy, unable to take no to an answer….but then again, she’s messed up from her childhood by those closest to her. As the closer I got (see what I did there) to these characters, the lines started to blur, were these characters the same ones I met at the beginning? Had life changed them or were they always like this?
This book is packed with some fabulous writing. The author has so many life-affirming quips from the characters that should be obvious but until you see them in black and white, they go unsaid….
“You’re only a victim if you let it define you,”
I devoured The Closer I Get in a day clicking through the pages wanting to get to the end to find out whether Tom was ever free from Evie….. and oh my a twist that twisted on itself…..The big question is do you really know people you meet on social media?
Who Is Paul Burston?
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.