Monday, 9 July 2012

Book #61 Killing Cupid by Louise Voss and Mark Edwards

Killing Cupid

Killing Cupid from the Voss/Edwards writing duo is the story of wannabee writer Alex, who develops an unhealthy obsession with his tutor Siobhan, and believing he is in love begins to stalk her. Separate chapters cover Alex's viewpoint of the story and then Siobhan's as the story develops.

The thing with this novel as a single woman and a woman who lives alone, is that it does give you the actual creeps as you read it. He lurks in her house unseen, hiding in her wardrobe, he deletes an email which would positively effect her career, and buys her gifts with her own credit card. Alex is a seriously delusional human being who thinks of the day when she "invites him to move in" not as a fantasy or hope but states it in his journal as a certain fact. This is a good portrait of a stalker who in almost every case genuinely believe the object of their affection does or could welcome their attentions.

But, as Alex's behaviour pushes Siobhan to crack under the strain, her own breakdown brings about a whole new chain of events.

The central intelligence of Killing Cupid is that it takes what would commonly be known as the standard chick lit plot "boy meets girl, misunderstandings and obstacles ensue, happy ending" and perverts it making it a subversive version of that sort of novel, like a twisted reflection in a black mirror, the dark side of human emotion. It's like an anti-chick lit, chick lit, behaviours that can seem endearing in those sorts of novels, finding out where someone lives to try and "bump into them" become not the sweet fare of a Hugh Grant love story, but a woman's worst nightmare.

I also found Siobhan's initial response to Alex's withdrawal believable, what woman hasn't felt threatened when someone who said they were in love with you, seems to move on with someone you view as lesser? I think all women have felt that.

Naturally, at the extreme ends of the novel, particularly the end there is a lack of credulity, but in a way this is a necessary evil to complete the journey of the happy go lucky romcom novel through a distorted lens into a murky, seedy world of misfits and danger.

I really enjoyed this novel, the questions it posed about human responses and Alex freaked me out which he was duly supposed to do. I can think of people I know who would like this novel too, and can see why it would be popular. 9/10 


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