Too Close

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Too Close By Hilary NormanToo Close’ was the third book I read by Hilary Norman who is fast becoming one of my favourite thriller writers!

Too Close‘ tells the story of Nick Miller and what happened after he allowed himself to get too close to the girl next door-  Holly Bourne! When the story starts both Nick and Holly are children. Holly has a bit of a ‘holier than thou’ reputation, but underneath this facade she is secretly very adept at causing trouble and getting other people to take the rap for her! First, it is her brother Eric who allows her to get away with it, and then, after he tragically drowns, Nick moves in next door and takes the place of Eric.

As they move into their teenage years, things continue in the same vein, until Holly’s parents discover one of their misdemeanours and absolutely forbid them from seeing each other. This is actually quite a relief for Nick, who is beginning to feel quite uncomfortable about the things that they are doing, but Holly feels betrayed by this!

Once Nick grows up, he moves to New York but it is not long before Holly follows and seeks him out! They strike up an uneasy friendship, but soon Holly is up to her old tricks and Nick once again is taking the rap, but this time it’s more dangerous, particularly when a drug dealer comes after him.

Finally, Nick feels he has to disappear before he does something he will regret so he flits to California. Soon he meets Nina, who he marries and settles down to happy family life. He has not seen or heard from Holly for years and then the icing on the cake; he and Nina discover that they are expecting their first child.

At the same time Holly has led a rather normal life, having passed her law degree and also got married. However, one day, she accidentally finds out about the expected child, and this fuels all the passion and rage she has felt about Nick over the years. She now becomes obsessed with one thing only – finding Nick and making him hers again.

The book starts to take on quite sinister overtones after this with terrible things happening to Nick and his family. As a reader, it is quite gripping because Hilary Norman will introduce some new element and you start thinking ‘is this for real or is it part of Holly’s scheme?’ She also shortens the length of the chapters to make it feel quite pacy and at times I could almost feel my heart pounding as I read it!

‘Too Close’  almost spirals towards a suspenseful ending and right up to the last moment you are wondering what is going to happen and it definitely makes quite a nervous read! Some of the chapters are written in the 1st person from Nick’s point of view. This is very effective as you witness the turmoil going on within Nick’s mind, especially when Nina starts to doubt him, and he wonders if he might lose her! Other chapters are written in the third person and this helps to show what is happening to Holly and the other characters.

The characters in this book are all well developed. You definitely feel for Nick and Nina, but there was a small part of me that also felt a little bit sorry for Holly!

All in all this is quite an emotional roller coaster of a read with the tension building up rapidly to the final climax! I read the last 100 pages in one go as I hardly dared put it down!

Definitely a fantastic read!


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Too Close
by Hilary Norman

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Written by kingfisher

My name is Jo and I have been married to Simon for nine years. We have two beautiful daughters – Rachel who is six and Natalie who is almost five and starting school in January. I also have two step children aged twenty one and seventeen so family life is never dull. I also manage to work three days for a local education authority where I support the teaching of literacy in primary schools. I love my job and it’s ideal for a book lover like me. In my spare time I run, dance and occasionally tread the boards with my local amateur dramatics group. My first love is reading though and you will never find me without a book on the go. My husband is also an avid reader and we are hoping to pass on our love of reading to our daughters. They certainly love their bedtime stories every night. Although I have and English degree and I am familiar with most of the classics, I generally read much lighter stuff these days. It’s mainly ‘chic lit’ but I also enjoy a good thriller or courtroom drama. I have so many favourite authors and this list tends to change regularly depending on what I am reading.

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