THE BOOK OF YOU by Claire Kendal


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The victim of a relentless stalker looks for a way out in Kendal’s debut novel.

Police shrugged their shoulders at a childhood assault suffered by university administrator Clarissa Bourne, sparking her lifelong belief that they will never take her seriously. Soon she puts that theory to the test when her lover, Henry, leaves her to take a job at another college and a colleague named Rafe attempts to insinuate himself into her life. Following a night of sex she can't remember (was she drugged?), Rafe grows more and more insistent that he and Clarissa are soul mates. He follows her, buys her gifts, writes her letters and goes through her trash looking for details about her life. When Rafe finally steps so far over the line that even someone as docile as Clarissa can no longer tolerate it, she builds a case to take to the police, guided by pamphlets aimed at stalking victims. Meanwhile, she's called for jury duty and is chosen for a seven-week trial; the case involves a woman of questionable character who was kidnapped, beaten and raped by multiple men. She meets fellow jurors Annie and Robert. Annie becomes her friend, but Robert, a firefighter, is something else: She finds herself drawn to him and dreading the moment when the trial will end, not only because she won't see him every day, but also because she'll have to return to work, where Rafe can easily target her. 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. Unfortunately, it's hard to believe Clarissa would endure so much abuse from Rafe due to an early and unrelated encounter with police.

Nicely written novel with a plot that will strain reader credulity.

Pub Date: April 29th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-06-229760-0
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2014


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