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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

‘Satisfyingly shocking’ THE CLOSER I GET, by Paul Burston @PaulBurston #bookreview #psyc

I actually read The Closer I Get, by Paul Burston, back in Pride Month, which was a total coincidence because I hadn’t realised that the main character was a gay man. It was really nice to read a character that gave a slightly different perspective. In addition, he is a writer whose first book was a huge hit – and whose consequent books have flopped. But he does have one fan left at the very least…

The story is also partly told from the perspective of a slightly unhinged woman. From the start it’s obvious that she is angry and may even be dangerous. Throughout the story Paul Burston kept me skilfully on a knife edge of uncertainty about what this woman was going to do next, and also about whether she had reason to feel so used and tossed aside, or if it was all in her head.

This was a tense read, and kept me turning the pages, wondering what was going to happen next as the main character became more paranoid and desperate, too.

The ending was satisfyingly shocking, being both unexpected but also making absolute sense.


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.

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