In this novel first published in the United Kingdom as Consent, a man who serially stalks women escalates his efforts until he settles on Frances, a bright young professional whose career is set to take off just as he proceeds to unravel her life from the inside out.
...a meticulously detailed novel about the protagonist’s life as a stalker ... The story is written as though by a careful diarist and amateur philosopher who reads Montaigne ... In the first two-thirds of the novel, the reader may be lulled by curiosity and only a vague sense of foreboding, but these are quickly overtaken in the last third by actions that shock the senses ... This is a smart, powerful, chilling novel that has antecedents in Hitchcock, Stephen King and even the very precise Nicholson Baker. But it’s not for the faint-hearted.
...creepily thought-provoking ... self-reflective ... The narrator, who is the supposed 'author' of the book before us — a memoir of his deeds as a stalker — befriends us. He invites us to engage with his inner dialogue. He is not overly charming, but still intelligent ... Read Me is constructed not as a linear tale but rather in layers, sometimes recounting what the narrator actually sees and at others deploying an assumed omniscience. At times it’s unclear whether the narrator is simply imagining Frances’ life or whether what he describes is actually occurring.
In his new work, another clever, cutting riff on the book-within-a book...the anonymous protagonist speedily evolves from routine sociopath to extreme psychopath ... For a while it’s all a little bit Martin Amis, a little bit Bret Easton Ellis, until the novel changes gear with the introduction of a third-person narrative and his latest obsession, Frances, whose life is derailing with an alarming propulsion ... The bloodier the deed, the more the main character’s notebooks fill up. All roads lead to Frances, and to the denouement of her—and her pursuer’s—now creepily symbiotic narrative ... this strangely congenial thriller-cum-treatise on urban disaffection, modern relationships, misogyny and madness, ends on a note of provocative ambiguity.