The Book of You – Claire Kendal

This was terrifying.  If any of you have ever been involved in a stalker situation, you will understand this book.  I was years ago – but never to this extent.

The “you” the title refers to is  Rafe – the stalker.  Rafe and Clarissa have a one night stand that turns into much more for Rafe.  He stalks her constantly – standing outside of her house, calling her, texting her.  She changes her number, he finds out the new one.  Her salvation is jury duty.  She ends up being called for a 7 week trial, where she is protected inside the court room from Rafe.  Or so she thinks.  He finds ways around that.

He leaves her “gifts” on her doorstep – and soon the gifts become odd.  A bouquet of black flowers, basically funeral flowers, as her house mate shares. Then the pictures start. Of her tied up, gagged, obviously in pain and not enjoying herself.

Clarissa is scared.  She researches online and discovers Rafe had a girlfriend who disappeared.  After repeated attempts, she finally makes contact with the girl’s parents.  They have no idea where she is, but they are sure he was behind the disappearance. They go on to describe a relationship that was much one-sided, where the girl tried to get away and couldn’t.  The similarities scared Clarissa, and so she decides to go to the police.  She has put it off for so long, with the worries that they won’t take her seriously.  When she goes, they take her very serious, and after mentioning the disappearance of the other girlfriend, it seems they are ready and willing to help.  They get a restraining order, which of course he disregards the next day.  He is taken into custody because of this, and she starts to look forward to a normal life, perhaps with Robert, one of the others jurors who she has been spending a lot of time with.

Just when she feels she is safe, she realizes that she’s not.  The climax of this book is just terrifying.  I cried with her, felt fear with her.  It was very hard to put this book down because of all the feelings I was sharing with her.  I couldn’t sleep after reading it because of this!

Don’t let me put you off this book though – if anything it should make you want to read it even more.  It was great.  When a book can make you feel that much for a character, where you actually feel their panic and fear, well obviously thats a damn good book. Read it. You’ll be glad you did.  And maybe give you some insight if this ever happens to you.


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