Today it is my great pleasure to be joining the blog tour for Closer by KL Slater. My thanks go to Kim Nash and publishers Bookouture for including me and providing the advance copy for review. I’m a bog fan of the author’s work, especially Blink and so I’m always excited when a new title is on the horizon. Here is what it’s all about.
About the Book
I know my daughter better than I know myself and if there’s one thing I know for sure at this moment: it’s that Maisie is not ok.
My ex-husband Shaun and I are still friends.
We would do anything for our beautiful little girl, Maisie.
But now Shaun has moved in with Joanne and suddenly, Maisie has a brand new family.
And there’s something not quite right about it…I know Joanne isn’t everything she says she is. Yet no-one will listen.
I need to discover what she’s hiding.
Because if I don’t, my daughter will be in terrible danger.
The most gripping psychological thriller you’ll read this year from the Kindle top five bestselling author K.L. Slater. If you love The Girl on the Train or Gone Girl, you’ll be absolutely hooked.
With Closer, KL Slater has delivered a slow burning domestic drama in which a mother has to suffer not only the final end of her already fractured marriage but the slow deterioration in her young daughter’s mental and physical health. Maisie is an outgoing and energetic child, fascinated by her dance classes and the apple of her mother, Emma’s, eye. When Emma finds out that her husband Shaun has moved on from their marriage it is hard enough. They had been trying to keep things unchanged for Maisie’s sake, still living in the same house, albeit in separate rooms with separate lives. But now Shaun is moving out and when Emma finds out who with, it is the final straw. Faced with a new family she doesn’t like, Maisie quickly loses some of her sparkle, but just how worried should Emma be.
What I loved about this book is how well the author has captured the anxiety of a mother watching her young child go through a complete personality change and being helpless to prevent or reverse it. With the majority of the story told from Emma’s point of view, you really do get into the heart of the emotion involved and you can feel her devastation as she watches her daughter disappear, both emotionally and physically, in front of her eyes. That heartbreak and concern is hard to imagine but I think KL Slater has come about as far as it is possible to get in depicting it in this drama.
However, there is a kind of dilemma here for the reader as, as much as we sympathise with Emma, she is also someone we cannot necessarily trust entirely. It is very clear that something has happened in her past, something the reader does not know initially. Added to this her animosity towards Shaun’s new partner, Joanne, who just happens to be her boss, and the knowledge that Maisie doesn’t like Joanne’s daughter, Piper, you have to wonder just what is driving Maisie to such a dramatic change in personality. The ambiguity between whether it is an external factor or Emma’s own anxiety and feelings projected onto the child will keep you guessing until the end.
There are segments told from Maisie’s point of view and in these we getter a clearer picture of what is happening but not necessarily why or who is responsible. The scenes in which she interacts with her new ‘family’ are sometimes hard to watch as you can are privy to some unwarranted comments, ones which fall right into the field of bullying, although Shaun is blind to it, casting Maisie as the aggressor rather than the victim. They can be hard to read but do portray that erosion of self confidence and the whole impact of bullying extremely well.
Many angles of this book are well hidden, with several story threads not fully revealed until the end of the book. It seems everyone is keeping secrets, with perhaps only Emma’s mother on the level, as critical as she is of Emma’s parenting. Their’s is a strained relationship, again portrayed extremely well, as mother and daughter struggle to properly understand one another, something I think many people will be able to identify with.
I really think this falls more into the domestic noir sub-genre than necessarily psychological thriller in the traditional sense. Yes, there are many elements which will keep you guessing until the end, but there are so many themes that people will recognise – the breakdown of a marriage, the impact on children, bullying in schools and families – that while at the heart of the story is the mystery of what is hurting Maisie, it is as much about an observation of human nature and the protective nature of mother to daughter, be it Emma to Maisie or Joanne to Piper. Don’t get me wrong, there are some big reveals and brow-raising moments within the novel, but for me it is the emotional toil which leads, with the surprise or suspense element taking a more subtle second place.
A thoroughly enjoyable domestic drama, full of secrets and lies and examining their devastating impact on a young and impressionable mind. Definitely recommended
If you would like a copy of Closer for yourself it is available now from the following retailers:
Kim is the bestselling author of psychological crime thrillers ‘Safe With Me,’ ‘Blink,’ ‘Liar,’ ‘The Mistake’ and ‘The Visitor.’ Her latest thriller, ‘The Secret’ was published by Bookouture on 27th July 2018 and her new thriller CLOSER will be published 24th October 2018 and is now available for pre-order.
Kim’s titles are soon to be published in paperback by Sphere in the UK and Grand Central in the USA.
For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents and collected an impressive stack of rejection slips. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.
Before graduating in 2012, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents and a book deal which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’
Kim is a full-time writer, has one grown-up daughter, Francesca, and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.
She also writes award-winning YA fiction for Macmillan Children’s Books, writing as Kim Slater.
Author Links: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook
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