Looker by Laura Sims
Published January 8, 2019
Hardcover, 182 pages
MY GOODREADS RATING 3.5/5 STARS
(Thanks to Netgalley & Scribner, I received an eARC)
A dazzling, razor-sharp debut novel about a woman whose obsession with the beautiful actress on her block drives her to the edge.
I’ve never crossed their little fenced-in garden, of course. I stand on the sidewalk in front of the fern-and-ivy-filled planter that hangs from the fence—placed there as a sort of screen, I’m sure—and have a direct line of view into the kitchen at night. I’m grateful they’ve never thought to install blinds. That’s how confident they are. No one would dare stand in front of our house and watch us, they think. And they’re probably right: except for me.
In this taut and thrilling debut, an unraveling woman, unhappily childless and recently separated, becomes fixated on her neighbor—the actress. The unnamed narrator can’t help noticing with wry irony that, though she and the actress live just a few doors apart, a chasm of professional success and personal fulfillment lies between them. The actress, a celebrity with her face on the side of every bus, shares a gleaming brownstone with her handsome husband and their three adorable children, while the narrator, working in a dead-end job, lives in a run-down, three-story walk-up with her ex-husband’s cat.
When an interaction with the actress at the annual block party takes a disastrous turn, what began as an innocent preoccupation spirals quickly, and lethally, into a frightening and irretrievable madness. Searing and darkly witty, Looker is enormously entertaining—at once a propulsive Hitchcockian thriller and a fearlessly original portrait of the perils of envy.
I wanted to read this one because the synopsis vaguely reminded me of another book I loved. I immediately got Girl On The Train vibes from this one, which I was loving, and quite frankly expecting. Even though I felt that way, I thought the plot had it’s own unique take on the whole situation. I loved the cover of this one, it really made me want to pick it up.
It was absolute a character driven story, which worked well. I loved the details on each relationship in our main character’s life, love, friends (or lack there of), acquaintances, neighbors, etc. I found the main character’s obsessions intriguing and absolutely frightening at times. The mental illness aspect of the story was portrayed pretty well in my opinion.
I thought this one was a a pretty solid psychological thriller with many amazing qualities. I feel like it just fell a bit flat for me towards the end, and I almost didn’t care what was going to happen to the main character and side characters. I found it a quick enjoyable read that I would recommend to fans of Girl On The Train.