Ever since surviving The Black-Out Killer, Claire Moore has struggled with her new life. Fortunately, her family has served as her safety net— and her support group has certainly helped. She’s even slowly started a relationship with a new man. However, ten years on, her world comes crashing down when there’s another power cut and another victim. Whether it’s the killer or a copycat, Claire’s sure of only one thing … he’s coming for her.
The true success of this book stems from the crafting of Claire Moore. Author Darren O’Sullivan has written a deeply complicated character attempting to navigate the difficult reality that is surviving severe trauma at the hands of a serial killer. Her evolution over the course of the novel is painfully believable, and O’Sullivan expertly explores these sections with tact. The entire book hinges on believing her reality, and O’Sullivan has more than accomplished that.
Because of this, there is a lot of introspection. Scene after scene does not shift by with a bang. Instead, O’Sullivan chooses to let readers understand what’s really going on in Claire’s head at all times. It’s both quiet and effective. Whether she’s mentally preparing herself for a simple walk to the store or tending to her former husband’s grave, readers are given deep insight into a woman healing. O’Sullivan finds the extraordinary in the ordinary, and this story is better for it.
All of this is not to suggest there isn’t action. This is a thriller, after all, and some moments are truly pulse-pounding. O’Sullivan deftly writes from the perspective of The Black-Out Killer. These sections are unnerving especially when juxtaposed against Claire’s own narrative. Dark, unsettling, and occasionally gory, though never gratuitous, these moments are some of the best in the book.
A thriller can usually be measured in how everything is tied up at the end. In that case, thrillers don’t get any better than Closer Than You Think. The final sections are shocking, making this the true definition of a page-turner.
Title: Closer Than You Think
Author: Darren O’Sullivan
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: March 15, 2019
Note: I received a free ARC of this book through NetGalley.