Look into my eyes, don’t look around the eyes…

“In January I had a proposal due to my boss, Leon Fields, on a new project.”

Suggested by a horror loving friend and colleague, Come Closer seems to be billed as the scariest novel ever. George Pelecanos says, “days after finishing it, it has not left my mind”. Kathryn Davis says it left her “so profoundly disturbed, so terrified and sleepless”. Brett Easton Ellis even weighs in and calls it a “genuinely scary novel”.

In my opinion, the blurb oversells this book immensely.

This is the story of Amanda, a normal, content woman who lives with her husband Ed in a converted loft and has a good job as an architect for a small firm. She wants for nothing and is very happy with her lot in life. But then the pair start hearing a tapping in the walls. They assume it’s a mouse and leave it, but then Ed realises that he never hears it when Amanda is out – it can’t be a mouse.

Amanda then finds herself urged to take up smoking again, and the dog she has befriended at the train station has begun to ignore her and refuses the treats she offers it. Amanda’s life begins to spiral out of control and she finds herself unable to withhold herself from fulfilling some of her deeper desires. And then there are the creepy dreams on the shore of a red lake with a woman who calls herself Naamah…

Granted, the book spins off in a way that I didn’t at all expect, but once it had, I stopped being scared. It’s certainly creepy, and I can’t fault Gran’s writing which is precise and elegant, but I certainly didn’t find it as terrifying as I assumed I was going to. It’s a quick read for anyone who enjoys thrillers, but don’t go in assuming you’re going to get a big scare. I’d suggest that I’m desensitised to these things, but I’m not a big horror fan by any stretch of the imagination, so I don’t think it’s that. I just think there are scarier things in the world than what’s in here.