Review: Looker

Review for "Looker" by Laura Sims (2019)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

From the blurb on the inside of this book, we’re told that it’s a thriller, but I think this story is far more complex than that. It is definitely a story of obsession, a character study of a gradual undoing, a woman’s loss of her grip on reality.

“Looker” is the story of an unnamed woman narrator whose life is, quite frankly, in shambles. Her husband has left her after many rounds of IVF have been unsuccessful in producing a child. Her job as a lecturer at a local college is unfulfilling. All that she really has is the cat that her husband has left behind and her obsession with a famous actress that lives in an expensive brownstone on her block. The actress lives with her husband and her three young children. The narrator watches the actress obsessively–her daily comings and goings, her life, her movies. She begins to feel as if her and the actress could actually be friends, if only they could just talk to each other. As events at the narrator’s job spiral out of control and divorce proceedings begin against her, the narrator views a potential interaction at an upcoming neighborhood block party as the catalyst that will kick off her and the actress’s friendship. Needless to say, it doesn’t go well.

This novel is less than 200 pages and a quick read. The escalation of the narrator’s obsession is clear, and the suspense paced rightly so. The ending was a bit abrupt, but this definitely kept my attention. 4.5 stars.

[Note: there is a scene of animal cruelty in this book, a particularly disturbing act involving a cat. If you’re upset by this, I’d skip this part. I wouldn’t avoid the book though.]

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