Thursday 28 March 2019

The Closer I Get by Paul Burston @PaulBurston @OrendaBooks #TheCloserIGet

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…

The Closer I Get by Paul Burston is published by Orenda Books; ebook on 11 May 2019, followed by the paperback release on 11 July 2019.  My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

Tom Hunter's first novel was a huge success. A bestseller, adapted for Hollywood and praised widely by literary critics. He's struggling to write a second book and stares at the blank page, day in and day out.

Evie Stokes is Tom's biggest fan. She's obsessed with him, and her obsession is causing problems for them both.

The story opens with a letter from Evie to Tom, headed up 'Day One'. After reading the letter, the reader is aware of how far her obsession has gone; she talks about seeing Tom today, but it wasn't a social occasion. No, Evie has been in the court room, charged with stalking Tom. Her letter isn't an angry rant at Tom, it's more of a love letter; detailing their interactions. She calls him darling, and is certain that this is all a mistake.

The author takes us back to eight months earlier, to the day that Tom visited the police for the first time, to put in a complaint about Evie's behaviour.

There's a darkness to this story that will haunt the reader throughout. Filled with uncertainties and never knowing just how reliable either Evie or Tom are. This is an exquisitely constructed novel with two leading characters who are startlingly real; and gloriously murky.

The Closer You Get is bang on the minute. It wouldn't have been possible to write this ten years ago, and it is sure to date. However the absolute precision in the writing will always appeal to readers who appreciate tense, imaginative and gripping thrillers.

Paul Burston's skill in creating characters is outstanding; suspicion, paranoia, obsession and accusation abound throughout this tale. Both Tom and Evie are incredibly flawed, yet they are mesmerising. Both are sly, and clever and manipulative, and the reader's view will change, more than once, throughout this whole gripping tale.

The Closer You Get is brilliantly written, it's compulsive and twisty and the final reveal will unsettle and startle the reader. The psychological mind games played out by the characters are so accomplished.

Intelligent, gripping and compulsive. This is incredible writing that challenges the reader; complex, subtle and incredibly powerful.

Paul Burston was born in York, made in South Wales and now divides his time between London and Hastings.

His books include the critically-acclaimed novels 'Shameless' (shortlisted for the State of Britain Award 2001), 'Star People' (2006), 'Lovers and Losers' (shortlisted for the Stonewall Award 2007) and 'The Gay Divorcee' (2009).

In October 2018, The Bookseller announced that he had signed a two book deal with Orenda Books. The first, a social media psychological thriller called 'The Closer I Get', will be published on July 11, 2019. 

Paul Burston is also host of London's award-winning LGBT literary salon, Polari, at the Southbank Centre, and founder of The Polari First Book Prize for LGBT-themed work. For more info go to

In March 2016 he was featured in the British Council's FiveFilms4Freedom Global List, celebrating “visionary people who are promoting freedom, equality and LGBT rights around the world.”

Website :
Twitter : @PaulBurston

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