Official Website of Author

‘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, Burston never loses his sense of real pain and suffering’ Philip Hensher

As perfect a thriller as youll 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 endingRussell 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 youll 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
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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 and founder of The Polari Prize for emerging and established LGBTQ+ 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 and former AIDS activist, he is one of the subjects of Alexis Gregorys verbatim play Riot Act.

Pauls writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Sunday Times and many other publications. He has also written and presented documentaries for Channel 4 and is a regular contributor 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


The Closer I Get

The Black Path




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 cant 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