‘The New Boy’ – Paula Rawsthorne

The cover gives us some clues as to what’s going on, but I had a niggling feeling throughout that something wasn’t quite right. Once the pieces slotted into place, it was rather worrying.

Preying on our concerns makes for scary stories, and this certainly had the potential to do just that.

When our main character starts college she is excited to be with her closest friends. On the very first day they notice the new boy, Jack Cartwright. Model looks, impeccable behaviour, interested in a range of activities…he sounds too good to be true. Having started the book with Jack and our narrator on top of a tower block we know that, yes, he is not quite what he seems. The question is, just what is going on?

Against her first thoughts, Zoe ends up in a relationship with Jack. He’s full-on, and I wondered if he was going to turn out to be an emotional abuser. The truth is far stranger. Nobody escapes the fall-out from this relationship.

There were, for me, some pacing issues and I can’t quite bring myself to totally believe the premise. That aside, an interesting read.