April 26, 2020

THE CLOSER YOU GET by Mary Torjussen

They had the perfect plan to start a new life together...before it all went horribly wrong.

A new twisting novel of psychological suspense from the acclaimed author of The Girl I Used to Be.

Coworkers Ruby and Harry are in love—but they’re married to other people. They decide to tell their spouses that their marriages are over and to start a new life together. Ruby has wanted to leave her controlling husband for a while, so she tells him she’s leaving and waits at the hotel where she and Harry are to meet. But Harry never shows up.

Suddenly, Ruby has lost everything. Harry won’t answer her calls, and she’s fired from her job. She finds a cheap apartment in a run-down part of town, all the while wondering what happened to Harry.

Just as Ruby thinks she’s hit rock bottom, strange and menacing things start to happen—someone is sneaking into her apartment, and someone is following her home late at night—and she is going to have to fight for her survival.

[Summary from Amazon]

The Closer You Get is the type of book I lean toward.  It’s marketed as a mystery/thriller but I would say it’s more suspense than thriller.  Regardless, it’s still a good read.

Let’s start with what I liked.  I got into the story immediately -- so much so that I read the book quickly and did not want to put it down.  I liked that the book varies between Ruby’s viewpoint and that of Emma, her lover’s wife.  It provided the reader with differing concepts that came together by the conclusion of the book.  Differing viewpoints, both told in the first person, don’t always work but they did in this case, allowing the reader to relate to both the wife and the mistress. 

I felt sympathy for Ruby over her controlling husband and got that nervous, sick, stomach-dropping feeling when she realized that her boss, Harry, wasn’t going to show up for their scheduled new life together.   I intensely felt Ruby’s anxiety over her new life and her fears that she was being watched. 

As someone who adores London and the U.K., I gravitate toward books that take place in Britain and this book checked off that box.  Thanks to the location, and the overall story, I could easily visualize every action, every conversation. 

What wasn’t I too fond of?  I found Ruby a very conflicting heroine.  While I did sympathize with her, I was also frustrated over some of her actions and inactions.  I felt that she should have picked up on some occurrences much quicker than she did.  Sure, she had a controlling husband and not many friends but she did work outside the home and wasn’t born yesterday. 

Additionally, I was waiting for a big payoff or reveal (maybe since the book was categorized as a thriller) and while all loose ends were wrapped up, it felt like a little bit of a deflating balloon rather than a pop, if you know what I mean.

That said, the cons of The Closer You Get are minor and much less than the pros.  To repeat, I was drawn into the story immediately and couldn’t put the book down.  It was perfect escapism and time well spent.

I would not hesitate to recommend The Closer You Get to fans of the mystery/suspense genre.  You will find yourself on an enjoyable, entertaining ride.  

The Closer You Get is available for purchase at major booksellers, including Amazon.   If you purchase the book through my link, I will receive a small commission.  

FTC Disclosure:  The review copy of this book was provided to me by Penguin Random House via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  The provision of this book did not affect the outcome of my review.  I was neither paid nor compensated for this review.  

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