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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, in novelette The Hook by Paul Kramer, therapist Philip deals with the disappearance, and reappearance, of his new and mysterious female client. Who is she, and what evil has she in mind?
Paul Kramer’s new novelette, The Hook, grips from the start and doesn’t let go with tight storytelling to share the story of therapist Philip, and his obsession with tracking down a female client who seems to have disappeared after just a few sessions.
While reeling from the discovery that his father is a paedophile, Phillip takes on an intriguing female client who mysteriously disappears after a few sessions. She becomes an obsession for him as an escape from his own problems.
Meanwhile, Allan, one of his other clients who is trying to deal with the aftermath of serious childhood abuse, also meets the same woman under a different name. Soon, she insinuates herself into his life with a different account of events.
In reality, she is a very smart and extremely dangerous psychopath who has researched the stories of both men in order to use their respective trauma to manipulate and control them. Neither man knows who she really is, nor just how dangerous she is – until it is too late. She is ‘the hook’ and they are the prey.
Readers are immediately immersed in Philip’s concerns over his client, and later, his concerns for himself. While the theme, plot and setting are all masterful, it is the development of his psychologically unbalanced female lead, who reinvents herself in order to play out her own dangerous game, which delivers the ‘wow’ in this hard to second guess narrative.
Having written a collection of macabre stories with a literary agent many years ago, unfortunately he was unable to place them. This is instalment two. I tend to write about ordinary people in extraordinary situations – particularly where the past comes back into the present, upending people’s lives – and I am also interested in how people reinvent themselves for their own gain.
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