The Book of You by Claire Kendal.

This intense book is just as much a horror as a thriller.

The story begins as a stream of consciousness, written in the first person, from Clarissa.  She is writing to log the actions of Rafe, her stalker, but it’s written as though it’s Rafe himself that she’s talking to. Much of the story is written in this way.  From the beginning, every move Clarissa makes is met with trepidation.

Initially, the stalker seems polite and friendly, but no matter what Clarissa does to stand up for herself, he still persists.  The way Clarissa directs her thoughts at her stalker and makes predictions and assumptions about him,  it is clear that she is as obsessed with him as he is with her.

Clarissa thinks Jury duty will be the break she needs to be away from her stalker – but she’s wrong.  The legal trial doesn’t tie in with the stalker plot per se, but provides a pertinent backdrop that assists the feel of the book in its later stages and ending.

A third of the way through the book, Clarissa starts to fall for a fellow juror, and romance begins to unfold.  The romance scenes provide a welcome break from the claustrophobic passages centred on stalker, Rafe.

The stalking intensifies, and halfway through the book, the threats become particularly sinister. There are haunting, creepy gifts, and looking into Rafe’s past gives serious cause for concern.  The feel of the book changes dramatically however, once Clarissa takes her story to the police. She becomes relaxed and gets on with the rest of her life.

But there’s more to come!  The stalking continues and culminates in a gruesome scene.  By the end of the book, the story is no longer about the stalker at all.  The final chapter reads like an epilogue.  A lot has happened by this point leaving a very poignant turn of events.

The book had the same tense, almost claustrophobic feel all the way through.  It’s good horror/thriller, but be prepared for an unhappy ending.

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