When Emma and Shaun broke up, they came to an arrangement to make things easier on their ten-year-old daughter, Maisie. Though they are no longer romantically involved, they still live in the same house, with Shaun taking on half of the parenting and household chores. To Emma, this is a dream come true, since Shaun is spending more time with his daughter than ever, and Emma is able to concentrate on her own career instead of always putting it aside for Shaun's - but it doesn't take long for cracks to appear in this shiny new partnership. Shaun has a new relationship, with Emma's boss of all people, and Maisie has begun to show signs that something is terribly wrong with her. Emma is worried sick about her daughter, but no-one seems willing to listen to her as she grows more and more desperate.
I picked this book up having read the gripping novel The Mistake by the same author last year, and this new novel lived up to my expectations for the most part.
Closer is an exciting psychological thriller, with chapters that alternate between different characters' points of view. This allows characters to undermine each other in interesting ways, such as the different interpretations Emma and her mother have of her late father's comment that Emma would "never amount to anything". It's a pity there are no chapters written from Shaun's point of view, since he is basically a straw man, there to infuriate both Emma and the reader. I got some funny looks for hissing "bastard!" at him while reading on the bus.
The mystery will keep you guessing, and the plot feels believable right up until almost the end, when, to my frustration, there is a twist that felt tacked on gratuitously. It would make a more satisfying read if you stopped reading at the end of the second last chapter and just skipped the last few pages.
Readers should be warned that this novel deals with themes of child loss, bullying, stalking and eating disorders.
Closer, is not a perfect novel, but it makes for a fast-paced, exciting read that could easily be knocked over on a rainy day indoors.
Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Bookouture, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Published: October 24, 2018