The Closer I Get by Paul Burston – Book Review

The Closer I Get by Paul Burston – Book Review



Tom is a successful author, but for the first time in his life, he has writer’s block. 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 sick 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 collapses, whilst Tom is free to live his life again, and to concentrate on writing.

But things aren’t adding up. For Tom is also addicted to his

online relationships, and when they take a darker, more menacing turn, he’s 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 on the other side of a screen…



Tom Hunter is a successful author, he meets Evie at a book signing and she believes they have an instant rapport…….

She follows him on Twitter, he follows her…..this must mean they are kindred spirts…mustn’t it?

But, it gets out of hand, Evie gets abusive with homophobic and threatening tweets when Tom doesn’t respond to her and eventually, at his wits end, he reports this online harassment as a hate crime to the police. There’s a court case and Evie is found guilty…..Evie is put under a ‘restraining ‘ order, no further contact is allowed… this the end of the matter?……

Told from both Tom and Evie’s perspectives you get to see how each of their minds work, how they are interpreting each interaction, until the stresses on each of them become unbearable …both of them are quite self absorbed and your sympathies will jump from one to the other and back again as the story unfolds…

A story of obsession, social media and stalking. Evie is tension personified, the way her mind sees things is truly disturbing…..but is this due to her childhood? Or something else?

Tom and Evie both have discrepancies in their stories, just who is telling the truth?

A timely tale showing how people seek validation for their lives online from strangers, with the lines between reality and fantasy in the soft focus of a snapchat filter….just how far does this seep into real life ? So relevant with the prevalence of harassment, abuse and so called trolling we see online every day….

Original, thought provoking and very scary as it so believable….from start to the incredible, gasp inducing ending……utterly compelling and a must read !

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  and this is my honest, unbiased review.


You can buy a copy here




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.




‘A terrifying portrayal of the online world and the blurred lines into real life, the characters are top notch, the writing sublime, and the storyline chillingly plausible. This is dark twisty fiction at its very best’

Susi Holliday, author of The Lingering


‘The kind of book you read in one breathless gulp’

Cass Green, author of Don’t You Cry


7 responses to “The Closer I Get by Paul Burston – Book Review”

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