Voss, Louise & Edwards, Mark - 'Killing Cupid'
Alex is in a dead end job and dreams of becoming a writer. Siobhan has published her first novel, very successfully, but is struggling to get started with her second. Her publisher didn't renew her contract and she makes a living writing articles for various magazines.
At her first session in her new venture as a creative writing tutor, she meets Alex and is not impressed but Alex falls deeply in love with her at first sight. Siobhan feels more affinity with Kathy, the lesbian writer whom she feels has talent as well as passion for writing. Alex asks Siobhan out for a drink and is very upset when he is rejected but rationalises it by assuming that there are rules in the College about tutors and students dating. However, he is not pleased when he sees Kathy and Siobhan having a drink after class.
He breaks all the rules at work by looking at her account details and finding where she lives. On one of his walks past the house, he discovers her keys in the lock of the door and cannot resist the opportunity to copy them so that he can see where she lives. His obsessive actions have devastating results on Siobhan who starts to think she is going mad.
When Kathy dies after a visit of Alex to her flat, Alex feels that Siobhan will be able to see him for the friend and would-be lover that he is but finds that Siobhan sees him as a stalker and is frightened by his actions. Luckily Emily comes along and makes clear her feelings to Alex. He finds that his life is slowly getting back on track with Emily's love and support but then bizarre events start happening that cannot be explained.
This novel is about people who are so self-centred as to seem unbelievable - and then you realise you have met characters like them. I found them totally unsympathetic and very irritating but oddly compelling. It is not a pleasant story, partly because the characters are not attractive but also because of the inevitability of the storyline. This story cannot end happily but will you be able to anticipate the ending? No I don't think so - or at least I didn't.
Part of the storytelling device of the novel is through journals written by both Alex and Siobhan so the narrative voice is swapped between the two. It allows the writers to show both characters' point of view of the same events which is interesting.
This is the second novel by this team, who were the first independent UK writers to reach No. 1 in both the Amazon kindle and Amazon fiction charts with this and their first novel CATCH YOUR DEATH.
Susan White, England