Short Take: The Books of You – Claire Kendal

This is debut suspense…very creepy suspense. The advance reviews have all given a thumbs up to this psychological thriller about a university administrator and the lecturer who is stalking her.

Obsession masquerades as love in British author Kendal’s intimate, chilling first novel, an update of Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa. One night, after a launch party at a Bath bookshop for a scholarly study of fairy tales, Clarissa Bourne agrees to let the book’s author, academic Rafe Solmes, walk her home. The next morning, she awakens with Rafe in her bed, with no memory of how she got there and the suspicion that he’s drugged and raped her….With flawless timing, the author traces how Rafe isolates Clarissa, threatens her, and pries into the most private details of her life, while also deftly incorporating Rafe’s interest in sadistic, sexually violent fairy tales. Kendal spins a tale that’s troubling, raw, and gripping.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Kendal expertly heightens the suspense while offering a disturbing portrait of a clever stalker who believes himself to be in love.”
— Booklist

“Kendal uses her writing skills to fine advantage, both in creating Clarissa’s evidentiary journal, which she hopes will help nail Rafe, and in chronicling Rafe’s growing menace….Nicely written.”
— Kirkus Reviews

The Book of You (9780062297600) by Claire Kendal. $25.99 hardcover. 4/29/14 on sale.

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