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‘The best psych thriller I’ve read this year’ Sarah Pinborough
Tom is a successful author, but he’s struggling to finish his novel. His main distraction is an online admirer, Evie, who simply won’t leave him alone.
Evie is smart, well read and unstable; she lives with her father and her social-media friendships are everything she has.
When she’s hit with a restraining order, her world is turned upside down and Tom is free to focus on his writing.
But things aren’t adding up. Tom is distracted but also addicted to his online relationships – and when they take a more menacing turn, he feels powerless to change things.
A compulsive, disturbingly relevant, twisty and powerful psychological thriller, The Closer I Get is also a searing commentary on the fragility and insincerity of online relationships, and the danger that can lurk just one ‘like’ away…
‘An absolute stunner, with a deliciously twisted ending’ Lisa Hall
‘A gripping ride through the heartlands of need and hurt. Even at his most thrilling, never loses his sense of real pain and suffering’ Philip Hensher
‘As perfect a thriller as you’ll read all year’ Caz Frear
‘Dangerous from page one. Terrifically readable’ Sarah Hilary
‘Absurdly gripping, and enough to unnerve anyone who has ever spent any time online’ Angela Clarke
‘So good. Great premise and a thrilling read’ Nina Pottell, Prima
‘Chillingly recognisable. A delicious tour de force’ Alex Marwood
‘Effortlessly readable, intensely chilling’ Chris Whitaker
‘Taut. Menacing. Puts the killer into killer twist’ Jonathan Harvey
‘Witty and insightful’ Susie Boyt
‘A masterpiece in sustained suspense’ Derek Farrell
‘A fiercely provocative novel, and as well as being a boldly entertaining read, it really, really made me think’ LoveReading
‘Taut and tense, with a truly unexpected ending’ Russell T Davies
‘A brilliant, twisty book about fandom and obsession’ Erin Kelly
‘A brilliantly sinister and sophisticated thriller’ EC Fremantle
‘Absolutely sensational’ Elly Griffiths
‘Compelling, creepy and completely believable’ Mel McGrath
‘Dark, devious and with a growing sense of dread’ Neil Broadfoot
‘Brilliantly written, tense and compelling’ Amanda Jennings
‘Dark twisty fiction at its very best’ SJI Holliday
‘One of the best books you’ll read this year’ Ed James
‘The kind of book you read in one breathless gulp’ Cass Green
‘Beautifully written, dark and compulsive’ Syd Moore
‘A gripping, chilling tale of obsession’ Katerina Diamond
‘Intelligent, well written, funny, dark and relevant’ Susie Lynes
‘Dark, thought-provoking and totally riveting’ Matt Cain
‘Brilliantly written, compulsive and twisty’ Anne Cater
‘A deliciously unsettling read’ Lesley Thomson
‘Thrilling, twisting, creepy and enthralling’ Araminta Hall
Longlisted for the Not
The Booker Prize 2019
Signed limited edition hardback available exclusively from Goldsboro Books
Signed paperback available from Printed Matter
To read about the true life story behind the book, see the Guardian
Paul Burston is the author of six novels and four non-fiction books and editor of two short story collections.
The Black Path (2016) was his first crime novel and became a Number 1 bestseller at WH Smith.
The Gay Divorcee (2009) was optioned for TV.
Lovers & Losers (2007) was shortlisted for a Stonewall Award.
His debut novel Shameless (2001) was shortlisted for the State of Britain Award.
Paul is curator and host of award-winning LGBTQ+ literary salon Polari at the Southbank Centre and founder of The Polari First Book Prize for debut writers and The Polari Prize for established writers.
In 2016, he featured in the British Council’s Global List of ‘33 visionary people promoting freedom, equality and LGBT rights around the world.’
A Rainbow List National Treasure, he is one of the subjects of Alexis Gregory’s verbatim play Riot Act.
His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Sunday Times and many other publications. He has also written and presented documentaries for Channel 4 and often contributes to TV and radio.
Widely anthologised, he recently contributed to First Edition (Dome Press 2020) and Not Quite Right For Us: 40 Writers Speak Volumes (Flipped Eye, 2021).
Author photo by Krystyna FitzGerald-Morris
As well as being the author of 10 books including four non-fiction titles, I’m also the editor of two short collections and have 30 years experience as a journalist and editor.
I’ve devised and delivered writing masterclasses for the Guardian and run creative writing workshops across the UK.
If you need help with your manuscript, please contact me at
I’m available for telephone or online sessions and written reports.
Prices start at £40 for an hour session or written feedback on up to 2,000 words.
“Paul provided me with prompt, insightful and constructive feedback on my novel extract, which was invaluable in helping me to shape the chapter I was stuck on and progress my work. I thoroughly recommend his services” - Michelle Hodgson
“I can’t thank Paul enough for his feedback. It was so helpful and valuable and has made a huge difference. It was so much more than I dared hope for” - Catherine Tinkler