Emma’s just trying to hold things together. With a marriage that’s over in all but the paperwork, a demanding new job and a daughter who needs and deserves her attention, the last thing she needs is her not-yet-ex husband to start dating her boss - whose daughter Piper is just the same age as Emma’s own daughter.
Emma’s 10-year-old daughter Maisie is the real victim in this book, and as a victim of psychological bullying at high school myself, my heart went out to her. Her nemesis, Piper, is a spoilt brat expert in playing the victim, and Piper’s mother Joanne has apparently no interest in reigning in her daughter. Joanne came across as an absolutely selfish bitch and Piper is clearly following in her footsteps, with Emma’s ex Shaun blind to their faults and siding with them against Maisie.
Because of the bullying she is suffering, Maisie is heading fast towards anorexia, and Emma just doesn’t know how to help her. It’s clearly a case of the straw breaking the camel’s back when strange things start happening - three punctured tyres in a couple of weeks can’t be a coincidence, surely?
The author does a masterful job of building the tension throughout the book, increasing the stakes with every chapter. I was gripped and read the book in one sitting, dying to see Joanne and Piper get their comeuppance and hopefully Shaun coming to his senses.
And that’s where things fall down. An unexpected villain is revealed in the last chapter - a twist I didn’t see coming, even though there were plenty of clues laid to set it up - and ONLY that villain gets their comeuppance. All the other horrible people walk away scot-free, and the book ends on a massive cliffhanger with no plans for a sequel or a ‘fixit’.
Though I enjoyed most of the read, I’m afraid I like a satisfactory conclusion to my stories. I like things put away neat and tidy, our heroes and heroines safe and happy, all the bad people paying the price for their behaviour, and I really didn’t get it with this book. Despite all the good things about it, I walked away angry and frustrated, and that’s not the feeling I want from books.
You can judge for yourself whether you’re happy to read a book with an inconclusive ending. If you are, you’ll probably love this. I didn’t. Three stars.
Closer is available now.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.