- Hardcover:368 pages
- Publisher:Gallery; Original edition (July 5, 2011)
- ISBN-10: 1451625847
Dr. Sheila Tao is a psychology professor, an expert in human behavior. She also has a pretty difficult past, suffering from sex addiction. She’s dating a wonderful man, Morris, abstaining from sex until they marry. Morris is completely ignorant of Sheila’s illness and of her past. When her father passes away, Sheila reverts to her old behavior and begins to have an affair with her teaching assistant, Ethan Wolfe. She knew this relationship would be dangerous, perhaps not realizing the severity.
When Morris proposes, Sheila puts an end to her relationship with Ethan. The affair wasn’t a long one, just three months, but Ethan can’t seem to let go. He threatens Sheila with a sex video, evidence of their relationship that would end her professional career as well as her relationship wtih Morris. But this is just the tip of the iceberg for Ethan. If he can’t have Sheila, no one can…
One can’t help think of the lyrics to Radiohead’s Creep while reading this book, specifically the following lines:
I don’t care if it hurts
I want to have control…
I want you to notice when I’m not around
By far, Creep truly lives up to its title. The terror Sheila experiences really makes me glad I’m not a part of the dating scene! Hillier does a tremendous job of portraying Ethan as a monster, his sociopathic behavior latent until he is angered. All of the main characters are so well-defined, it’s not hard not to connect with them, viewing them as “real” people. Despite Sheila’s faults, I was rooting for her through the entire book.
Several times while reading, I actually started yelling at Sheila’s character, much like I do when watching horror movies (“Don’t run up the stairs you idiot, run outside!” or “No, no, don’t go in there!”). The pacing is fast; I literally blew through the first few hundred pages in one sitting. It’s darkly delicious in a way not many thrillers are lately; I had goosebumps nearly the entire time I was reading it. You don’t want to stop reading it, but in order to do so you must turn on all the lights and lock all the doors.
The ending was left open, leaving the possibility but not a promise of a sequel. In any case, it was a perfect end to such a completely terrifying book! I’ve done nothing but talk about this book to book-loving friends of mine; so many are intrigued I have a line assembling full of people who want dibs on my copy!
Jennifer Hillier is an author to watch, Creep is a tremendous debut thriller ; I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. Highly, highly recommended!