Book Review: Looker by Laura Sims

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Title: Looker

Author: Laura Sims

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Number of Pages: 182

Rating: B

Recommended?: Yes



Usually when I read novels with psycho main characters they’re male, so it was fun to read a book with a bonkers protagonist who is a woman for a change. There are a lot of mentally ill heroines in fiction, but not so many who are sociopaths/stalkers/predators. Plus, I love me a good unreliable narrator, and I personally thought Laura Sims did a great job with her portrayal of a deeply psychologically disturbed woman who is filled with hatred and loneliness.


The protagonist of this book, who is never given a first or a last name, is a divorcee who lives alone in the apartment she used to share with her husband and only has his discarded cat for company. She works as an English teacher and was deeply damaged by her infertility and the effects it had on her relationship with her ex. Everything begins to change for her when a famous actress and her family moves into next to her apartment, and the two women start running into each other occasionally.


Our heroine is obsessed, and tries to get close to the actress as often as she possibly can. She worships her beauty and her status while being torn apart with complete contempt for her at the same time. Her life starts to revolve around ‘running into’ movie star and gaining her friendship, and she begins to lose her mind while observing a ‘perfect’ life that is both light years away and just within reach. While reading this book I felt no sympathy for the main character (any compassion I might have had at any point vanished before the book ended) but I thought she was very believable.


She had a marked lack of empathy toward others (she wasn’t a full-blown sociopath, but I think she might have had tendencies that way) and she also seemed mentally ill in a more conventional sense while having the ability to pass as ‘normal’ to people who didn’t know her that well. I’m getting a little bit tired of this trend of main characters in novels not being given first names, but I guess I understand how the author might have felt that it would add to the theme of depersonalization. Most of the characters are only given names if it’s absolutely needed for the flow of the narrative.


Because the protagonist feels threatened by other people and only cares about herself, all the side characters seem to lack depth and throughout the novel we know very little about them. Some people might just consider this to be weak character development but I believe it was intentional. I liked the ending okay, but I feel like it could have been better. I the author wrapped things up too abruptly and there was something about the final scene that felt a little bit silly, and didn’t measure up with the rest of the book. From what I’ve seen so far people haven’t given this book great reviews but for people like me who seek out dark character studies I don’t think lukewarm ratings should keep you from giving it a try.

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