Paul Burston’s The Closer I Get, examines the world of social media and how strong the connection can be between people who meet there—and how those relationships can sometimes go disastrously wrong.

Tom Hunter’s a successful novelist with a first book made into a movie that’s brought notoriety, who’s stumbling with his third book after a bomb of a second. He blames his writer’s block on the suffocating admiration of a woman he’s met online who won’t—or can’t—leave him alone.

Evie is a bit unstable, and has become obsessed with Tom. But online relationships are necessarily two-sided. Just how culpable is Tom? And what of his close friend, Emma? Despite Tom’s homosexuality, Emma has always been a shoulder for Tom to lean on, and he does so now.

What’s at play here for the reader is the idea that perhaps neither Evie nor Tom as reliable narrators, when the police become involved after Tom lodges a complaint about Evie’s obsession with him and her behavior. Cyber-stalking is very real, which makes this a timely and completely believeable story.

Here are two manipulative main characters, finely drawn, and the reader will find themselves siding with each one at times. There are mind games and reversals and lies told to others, but more interestingly, those we tell to ourselves.

A fascinating look at the personas that can be created online that come to be believed. Burston’s observant eye lends total credence to a plausible and chilling tale.