*I received a free copy of this book, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: What if someone wanted to ruin your life?
Rachel Stone’s world was destroyed by a stalker, Alan Griffin. After he went to prison, she rebuilt her life.
Now she has a three-year-old daughter and is in a new relationship. But someone is stalking her again. Her phone, her emails and her social media are hacked.
Rachel believes it’s Griffin, out of prison and looking for revenge. She needs to find him and make him leave her alone. But as Rachel is drawn into a hunt, she realises that something even more horrific is happening – something that will make her confront the childhood that has lingered inside her like a ghost, and will force her to face the truth about her new life.
Is Griffin the one ruining her life? Or is someone far more dangerous responsible?
If I end up with an ulcer I will be blaming this book!
From the very beginning the reader is plunged into tense anxiety for the main character, Rachel, as her story is interspersed by occasional glimpses into the mind of her terrifyingly competent stalker.
Poor Rachel is also tense from the start, as she has been stalked before. A compromising photo, thoughtlessly shared by a school friend went viral in her youth, and as a result she was harassed by middle-aged ‘fan’ Alan Griffin until he was caught and put away.
Now she is plunged straight back into the same nightmare again. But how did Griffin find her? What does he want now? And worst of all, how will she protect her own daughter from the consequences of that old mistake?
There is a definite trigger warning here, because as well as being a tense suspense thriller, Rachel’s precarious situation sends her plunging into a destructive spiral of a serious eating disorder and substance abuse problem, that she also thought she had left behind her. The author’s exploration of these issues is sympathetic, but also uncompromising in the distressing details. My own stomach lurched more than once as I read what Rachel was putting herself through in her desperation.
I can honestly say that I never managed to work out what was going to happen until it had, so I was along with Rachel for the whole terrifying ride. For most of the book, Rachel is a little passive – understandable with the stress she is under – but towards the end she really comes into her own and I was cheering for her to stay strong and see it through.
Then, on finishing the book, I was compelled to immediately update all of my own cyber security, using the helpful hints and tips scattered through the story as a guide for what to watch out for. So I can recommend this as both an exciting thriller, and an educational warning!
Want to know how to break into someone’s life?
Send them an e-mail supposedly from their bank, or Amazon, or eBay. Same logo, same corporate talk, some lines of scaremongering spiel. We have detected a problem with your account. If they’re dumb enough to click on the link, they’ll go to a web page hosted on your server, where an authentic-looking form will capture their login details.
That kind of phishing attack, it’s like a net. Throw it far and wide, and hope you reel in someone stupid. But if you want to target one person – let’s call her Rachel – and if she’s savvy enough to swim around the net, then the attack can be fired.
It’s called Spear Phishing.
This is how it’s done.
– Dan Malakin, The Regret
The Regret is available on Amazon right now.