I do love a good book and have always been a bit of a bookworm, but i admit i am more of a chick lit, romantic comedy kind of girl who adores Marian Keyes and Sophie Kinsella novels to psychological thrillers. So when i was sent The Book Of You , a debut novel by author Claire Kendal which is a psychological thriller i really did not think it was a book i would enjoy. But oh how wrong i was.
I started reading this book last Monday and after the first few chapters, that was it i was hooked and could not put this book down and had finished reading it by Tuesday, no mean feat when you are a mum to three children. This book constantly leaves you guessing and has so many twists and turns you just have to read on to find out what happens.
The book is about Clarissa a recently single childless women in her late thirty's who works at a university and she has been selected for a lengthy jury service duty. The trial she is sitting on centres around a brutal kidnapping and rape and she starts to see similarities between what happened to the victim in the trial to what is happening in her own life. Clarissa is being stalked by a work colleague Rafe whom you learn early on in the story that she spent a drunken night with and who has since became obsessed with her, following her, sending her unwanted gifts and constantly ringing her.
Clarissa starts writing down everything Rafe does as a way of documenting his behaviours as she try's to gather evidence of what he is doing to her, So the book often shifts from first person where Clarissa is writing in her diary to third person when Clarissa is going about her normal everyday life. I found this a bit confusing at first but it works wonderfully having the story told in this way.
Clarissa sees the jury duty as a way of escaping Rafe's unwanted attention but as time goes on Rafe steps up his stalking campaign with terrifying consequences. You soon learn that the night that she spent with Rafe was not just a drunken night but was actually a date rape and he becomes more and more obsessed with her. At times i found myself willing Clarissa to avoid certain situations or to report his actions ,but who knows how anyone would act in such a situation.
When i got near the end of this book there was such an unexpected turn of events that you really do not see coming at all, and this to me is what makes this book so fantastic. As each time you turn the page you have no idea what will happen and it constantly leaves you wanting to keep reading and find out more.
The book constantly refers to fairy tales throughout and you are hoping that Clarissa gets her happy ever after in the end. But the ending of this book leaves you guessing a bit, i wanted to find out more. But this book is dark and is not the kind of book where ' they all lived happily ever after ' exists which makes a refreshing change.
Overall i loved this book, i really want to go in to more detail but i fear that if i do i will give the story away and this is a book that i think you have to read for yourself to appreciate how wonderfully it is written. This really is a one of those books that you can describe as a 'real page turner' that 'you can not put down' and that has so many twists and turns it will keep you guessing right up until the very end. If you love thrillers then this is the book for you , but even if like me you don't normally read them then i think that you will still thoroughly enjoy this book. Although i would not recommend reading it if you live alone before bedtime as it can be truly terrifying and gruesome in places. I will be looking out for future books from Claire Kendal as this one was so beautifully and cleverly written that it truly had me hooked until the end.