"Alarming and unsettling; readers should brace themselves for a riveting chronicle of extreme psychopathic illness-and lock their doors."– Kirkus Reviews
Poet Chambers’ debut memoir is a harrowing account of a two-year trial with an obsessed, predatory stalker.
It was at Christmastime in Brooklyn when the eccentric, divorced author met Rachelle Richards, a manic, manipulative Australian New-Age publicist on a journalist visa, who promised to get the author discovered. Both outspoken and headstrong, Chambers and Rachelle initially locked horns, and Chambers soon realized that the publicist was mentally unstable. He tried to placate her, which only triggered what he characterizes as her extremely violent psychopathic temperament. She shared revelations about a horrifically abusive childhood, which explained her instability, yet the author dangerously ignored his better judgment and the numerous behavioral red flags and compassionately attempted to find common ground with his “poetic soul mate” (Richards’ characterization). Whether mildly enamored or simply curious about her international connections and ability to get his poetry into print, Chambers freely admits to having recognized and disregarded Richards’ potential volatility after she boasted to him about “the power to make the whole world love you or I can destroy you in a matter of seconds.” Richards’ obsessive pursuit of the author and his increasingly panicked avoidance of her soon expands to nightmarish proportions à la Fatal Attraction. By the time Chambers realized the full extent of Richards’ psychopathic delusions, it was far too late. She embarked on the relentless, pathological victimization of the author. She harassed him at his home, impersonated his fiancee and threatened his life. A restraining order had no effect. Straightforward and honest from beginning to end, the author has written a compulsively readable memoir. And the conclusion offers no easy resolution; while Richards’ grim persecution of Chambers ends abruptly, the entire ordeal proved unshakable and haunting.
Alarming and unsettling; readers should brace themselves for a riveting chronicle of extreme psychopathic illness—and lock their doors.