Read: 16th November 2016 – 1st December 2016
Clarissa is a working, single lady who is called to serve on a jury of a kidnap and rape case. One night at an event for work she got off her face on wine and the ‘lovely’ Rafe, a colleague, kindly walked her home, she let him in and they shared the night together. Ever since this night Rafe became obsessed with Clarissa and began to stalk her. Appearing absolutely everywhere, outside the Court whenever she leaves the building, outside her house constantly, in the local park and at the train station. Scarily, Clarissa started to see parallels between her situation with Rafe and the trial she was a member of the jury of. Throughout the case, all the evidence which witnesses gave, Clarissa could relate to herself and what was going on with Rafe.
Although I was desperate for Clarissa to go to the police right at the beginning of the book, I understood it would have seemed ridiculous, claiming you were being stalked by somebody who was buying you expensive gifts and claiming he was finding information about you by searching through your bin and finding sleeping pills and letters from her parents. Clarissa had to bide her time and keep as far away from Rafe as she could while she collected proof and stashed it all away in a cupboard ready to hand to the police. However I longed for Clarissa to open up to Robert, lovely Robert could have protected her. Some readers may find this frustrating that she didn’t go straight to the police and didn’t do anything to help her situation, although I could understand why the reasoning against this.
Claire Kendal did a brilliant job of showing readers how creepy and terrifying Rafe was, every time his name appeared on the page, my teeth clenched and I just wanted to shout at him to leave Clarissa alone!
The ending of this book was one of the best endings I have ever read. It was graphic and absolutely terrifying! My heart was racing in horror for Clarissa and Robert. I don’t think I have ever read 50 pages so fast in my life. I also loved how the last chapter fast forwards eighteen weeks to find out how Clarissa was coping after the horrific events and the verdict of the trial which she had been part of the jury for throughout the book. My love for Robert also changed in the last few pages – oh I thought he was such a lovely man, obviously not! Although I do wish Clarissa had contacted him to inform him of the pregnancy.
This was a really gripping book, with some graphic, detailed scenes. Every time I left the house I couldn’t wait to get back to find out what would happen in the next chapter.
If I could rate this book a million out of five I would! Definitely one of my favourite reads in 2016!
If you are into dark, tense psychological thrillers, please read this debut novel by Claire Kendal as it will be perfect for you!