Review: The Stalker by Sally Spencer/Alan Rustage

I fell for it: I discounted the perpetrator based on two comments in the book and I am really annoyed with myself! Some spoilers follow, but not the main reveals.

This was a really good book. I like investigative books and I particularly like whodunnits and deducting myself as to who the perpetrator could be. With the many books and TV show episodes of Poirot and Midsomer Murders that I’ve watched, I think I usually deduct the motive and killer in about 80% of cases which is why I’m so annoyed I fell for something obvious here!

The book is told from various POVs: Beth – a single lawyer mother whose husband committed suicide a year or so prior to the book, Detective Sam Brody who investigates her for a case, and the ‘angel’ who is her stalker. The stalker isn’t just a stalker, but also goes out of his way to make life easier for Beth for reasons I’m not really quite clear about. His narrative starts off with an infatuation of her but quickly changes to religious babble. He has issues with women going all the way back to his teens when he found his mother in bed with the neighbour and the angel killed her which I am very sure I’ve seen almost word for word in an episode of Cold Case or similar before.

The book continues to pull out tropes from the white cop and his chilled-out black partner to the overworked lawyer mother and the secondary characters. To continue the TV shows theme, it feels like you’re in an 80s or maybe 90s cop/detective show: it’s good, but it’s before TV moved away from being too cliched.

There are enough potential suspects that at one point I even considered keeping a handwritten list to keep track of arguments for or against their guilt. Turns out there are enough hints and false clues throughout the book and a lot of the people were actually guilty, albeit not of being the stalker. The writing is solid and I was drawn in from the prologue which is the first bit told from the stalker’s POV.

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The stalker was actually the second person I suspected [I remember the scene], but he was also the first one I discounted based on two comments in the book. This is why statements can’t be believed and everything needs checking!

I find it curious that this is meant to be the first book in a series around the detective who I feel didn’t really get top billing. The first half of the book mostly centers around Beth and the latter part around the three of them. If anything I would have thought the series to continue Beth’s story, though maybe future books will continue to the multiple POVs narrative which would certainly be something different.

Lastly, this book was hugely satisfying for another reason!

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4/5 – This was a surprisingly good book.

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2 Responses to Review: The Stalker by Sally Spencer/Alan Rustage

  1. Tyler Wright says:

    Sounds like a good book!

    Do you read nonfiction very often?

    I really enjoy it because it allows me to learn the lessons that successful people learned the hard way, from the comfort of where ever I might be reading.

    If you are interested in the nonfiction I have been reading, or if you want to know what the benefits are from reading this genre in specific, please stop by my page. I post book reviews over biographies, classics, and inspiring nonfiction.

    https://thewrightread.com/

    Like

  2. Cat says:

    No, I mostly read fiction, but I’ll have a look, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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