The Bookvent Calendar 2019: Day 24 – Part 1


#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2019

So here it is. My final day of #bookvent selections and over the next hour and a bit, I’ll be revealing my top three books of 2019. I have to say that it was a close contest between the three of them. Up to around September, I honestly thought it would be between two books, but the third just snuck in there and wouldn’t go away. What can you do? Now, I will be naming my book of the year, but the next two books are in publication dates order only – they take equal billing in my most loved books list for the year!

So … My first day 24 selection is a book I was excited to read from the moment I heard that the author had paired with Orenda Books. I knew it was going to be a perfect match and I was so right. With a story which is derived from the author’s own experience, this book is tense, twisted and absolutely absorbing. My first day twenty-four choice is:


The Closer I Get by Paul Burston

Tom is a successful author, but he’s struggling to finish his novel. 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 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 is turned upside down, and Tom is free to live his life again, to concentrate on writing.

But things aren’t really adding up. For Tom is distracted but also addicted to his online relationships, and when they take a darker, more menacing turn, he feels 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 just one ‘like’ away…

Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books

I can’t believe that it was way back in May that I read this book. May! As soon as I started reading I knew it was going to be excellent, and to be honest, I’d read most of it within a matter of hours while travelling to Newcastle for Newcastle Noir. Now, not to seem too stalkerish, especially given the premise of this book, but author Paul Burston was featured at the festival, so it was perfect timing to bag myself a signed copy of it too. If you read this book you will understand why Mandie and I found this a little chucklesome, as all of the problems for the central protagonist in this story stem from an author signing in which an over eager fan, Evie, starts to take their ‘connection’ with said author, Tom, a touch too far. Now this book is based on events from author Paul Burston’s life, although thankfully things didn’t turn out quite as dark, twisted and deadly as they did in this book. But drawing on experience has allowed him to create a novel which is frighteningly authentic – atmospheric, obsessive and disturbing. The lead characters of Tom and Evie are perfectly drawn, victim and aggressor, but the author still manages to throw in a lot of curveballs, and gets you questioning everything you are reading, until the point that you realise things are far more complicated than they first appear. With a narrative that moves seamlessly between the two lead characters, you are taken on an undulating, thrilling, chilling and completely enthralling journey which will leave you stunned. I loved it.

You can read my full review of The Closer I Get here, and an extract from the book right here.


Happy #bookvent reading all