The Closer I Get – Paul Burston

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…

About the Book:

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.

About the Author:

Paul Burston was born in York, raised in South Wales and now divides his time between London and Hastings.

His books include ‘Shameless’ (shortlisted for the State of Britain Award 2001), ‘Lovers and Losers’ (shortlisted for the Stonewall Award 2007), ‘The Gay Divorcee’ (2009, optioned for television) and ‘The Black Path’ (long listed for the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize, 2016)

His new novel is the social media psychological thriller ‘The Closer I Get’, to be published on July 11, 2019 (May 11, ebook).

My Review:   “Brrrrrr” – that was me after finishing this book as I was covered in goosebumps because  THE CLOSER I GET is one hell of a chilling, thought-provoking, scary story.

This is Paul Burston’s latest novel published by Orenda and is exceptionally well written, pacy, scary and highly topical.

Tom Hunter is a successful author, his first book became a best seller and was made into a film starring Ryan Gosling.   His second book didn’t quite get the same response from the public (in fact it was panned by the critics) and he is now struggling to write book three.

Evie is a HUGE fan, Evie LOVES Tom’s first book, Evie loves Twitter and Social Media and Evie doesn’t take NO for an answer.   You and I might actually call Evie unbalanced, disturbed, socially awkward and even a TROLL – but Evie doesn’t agree.  She’s a woman on a mission and her mission is TOM HUNTER.

Told through alternating chapters THE CLOSER I GET looks closely at obsession, trolling, stalking and highlights the danger of social media.  Personally, I adored Evie’s character, her dark humour and her pitiful upbringing and childhood. Each of her chapters, written as a letter to Tom, slowly and deliciously unpeeled another layer of her personality and quirky character and I actually found myself feeling sorry for her (sorry Paul).

This book is an absolutely brilliant psychological thriller with several OMG twists and superb characters, but when the reader realises that THE CLOSER YOU GET is actually based on a real life experience the author went through with a female homophobic stalker it makes the book even more plausible and creepy.  They say “Truth is Often Stranger than Fiction” – but kudos to Paul Burston for turning his nightmare into a brilliant, thought-provoking and chilling thriller.  Highly recommended.


Click the image below to read the full article about Paul Burston in the Guardian:


My thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda for the invitation to join the blogtour.   Make sure you follow the tour and see what my fellow bloggers thought:


What others are saying:

So good. Such brilliant characters. Great premise and a thrilling read’ Nina Pottell, Prima

‘Chillingly recognisable. A delicious tour de force’ Alex Marwood

‘Compelling, creepy and completely believable’ Mel McGrath

‘Dark, devious and with a growing sense of dread’ Neil Broadfoot

‘Brilliantly written, tense and compelling’ Amanda Jennings

‘Dark twisty fiction at its very best’ SJI Holliday

‘One of the best books you’ll read this year’ Ed James

‘Effortlessly readable, intensely chilling. That ending floored me’ Chris Whitaker

‘Unsettling. Taut. Menacing. Burston puts the killer into killer twist’ Jonathan Harvey

‘Witty and insightful’ Susie Boyt

‘Brilliant, chilling, totally awesome writing’ Miranda Dickinson

‘An absolute stunner … with a deliciously twisted ending’ Lisa Hall

‘I devoured this book. The last forty-odd pages were read from between my fingers. The tension is almost unbearable. The twist is gut-wrenching. The book is a masterpiece in sustained suspense and smart literate contemporary horror. Bravo Mr Burston’ Derek Farrell

‘Very easy to read, certainly keeps you hooked in with plenty of twists. I suspect it will be a big read this summer’ Fiona Sharp

‘It’s about a gay novelist who becomes the target of an online stalker and is dark, thought-provoking, and totally riveting. As comebacks go, it’s on a par with Madonna bursting out of a giant disco ball in a pink leotard!’ Matt Cain

‘Gripped and Terrified by Paul Burston’s new novel, bloody hell!!!’ Rowan Coleman

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