Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all doing well. Today I’m going to be posting my review of Lisa Stone’s fantastic psychological thriller, ‘Stalker’. I was lucky enough to take part in the blog tour for this book (you can find that here), but I loved it so much that I just had to review it in full too! Keep reading to discover my thoughts…
Someone is always watching…
Derek Flint is a loner. He lives with his mother and spends his
evenings watching his clients on the CCTV cameras he has installed inside their homes. He likes their companionship – even if it’s through a screen.
When a series of crimes hits Derek’s neighbourhood, DC Beth Mayes begins to suspect he’s involved. How does he know so much about the victims’ lives? Why won’t he let anyone into his office? And what is his mother hiding in that strange, lonely house?
As the crimes become more violent, Beth must race against the clock to find out who is behind the attacks. Will she uncover the truth in time? And is Derek more dangerous than even she has guessed?
** TRIGGER WARNING ** Includes graphic scenes of sexual content. Makes reference to the grizzly details of multiple crimes, including physical attacks, murder and rape.
‘Stalker’ was released on 14th June 2018, and is Lisa Stone’s second novel, following on from ‘The Darkness Within’ (2017). She has also written 28 novels under the pseudonym Cathy Glass, in which she writes about children in the foster care system who have had difficult upbringings. She has worked in foster care for over twenty five years, and lives in England with her three children.
The novel has received positive praise from the likes of fellow author Katerina Diamond, who stated “once you start you won’t be able to stop!” Lisa Stone’s previous novel received rave reviews from Amazon reviewers, such as “this is a cracking good read that had me hooked from the beginning until the end”, “fantastic book, couldn’t turn the pages quickly enough!” and “a well-written and extremely addictive novel”.
‘Stalker’ follows the life of Derek Flint, who owns a company that install CCTV cameras in clients homes. He is a bit of a loner, and spends his evenings watching his “friends” through his computer screen. When some bizarre crimes start occurring in his clients’ homes, the police must work around the clock to find out who is responsible, and why…
The novel is all narrated in the third-person. The narrative particularly focuses on Derek, but some sections also follow his clients, his mother and his apprentice Paul. This narrative method is omniscient and all-knowing, giving the reader an expert description of the events. The narrative all takes place in the present day. The narrative is very simplistic and easy to follow, which I really appreciated.
Derek is probably my favourite character in the novel. This isn’t because he’s a likeable character – in fact, he is the opposite. But he’s written extremely well. He’s a bit peculiar and doesn’t really have any friends or a social life, so he takes comfort in his computer screen and likes observing others. He has a strong set of moral values (which probably sounds strange given the context of this book – but trust me, he really does) and does everything he can to protect his clients. He’s proud of his business and all he has achieved. But he’s definitely a very complex character with a lot of flaws, making him very realistic.
The other main character in the novel is DC Beth Mayes. She’s very good at her job and is very clever, which a lot of people do not give her credit for. She has a great attention to detail, and when investigating the crimes, she focuses on the little details that other police officers overlook. She’s very invested in her job and is passionate about seeing justice done, and she does everything she can to catch the person behind the crimes. I would say that, in my opinion, she’s not as three-dimensional as Derek – but I still really liked her as a character.
Other characters in the novel include: Derek’s various clients (the Williams’, the McKenzie’s, the Osman’s etc), Derek’s apprentice Paul Mellows, Derek’s mother Elsie Flint, various members of the police force, and various victims of the crimes. All of the characters bring something fresh and exciting to the novel, and I really enjoyed reading about all of them.
** TRIGGER WARNING ** (I apologise for any spoilers here.) The novel makes repeated references to the grizzly details of multiple crimes, including physical attacks, murder and rape. Part of the novel details a cult group formed on the Dark Web, and the initiation period that the members must undergo to prove their worthiness. The novel also includes graphic scenes containing sexual content, involving multiple partners. All of these issues are explored sensitively and with appropriate detail, but if any of these issues may trigger a negative response, I suggest you skip this book.
The narrative motors onwards, and DC Beth Mayes must work her hardest to catch the criminal(s) responsible, before another crime occurs. The crimes become increasingly bizarre, and they discover that they are all linked to Derek’s clients. But is it really Derek they should be targeting in their investigation? Or is there somebody else behind it all?
So, let’s talk about the ending! There’s a dramatic end scene in which the police must catch the criminal, just as he is about to strike again. There’s a scene which could result in life or death, and they need all hands on deck to stop the criminal and put him behind bars. The ending is fast-paced and action-packed, and I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the page! I really enjoyed the ending and felt that it tied everything together really well. Those of you who like seeing justice served will really enjoy the ending.
Overall, I highly recommend this novel to those of you who enjoy psychological thrillers, particularly those with a crime/police procedural element. The structure of the novel is easy to follow, but it still explores characters in great depth and includes a fantastic plot. I was truly hooked whilst reading this and physically couldn’t put it down – I raced my way through to the end! My only criticism is that I felt that the characters from the police force could have been given slightly more depth, but that’s only if I’m being really picky! A compelling psychological thriller that is well worth the read.
Happy reading 🙂