Mister Tender's Girl by Carter Wilson was inspired by the Slenderman meme and the resulting real-life case. Mister Tinder, however, is perhaps a more interesting character, charismatic and handsome, but just as deadly.
This is a creepy thriller that held me fast throughout the majority of the book. Mister Tender, a popular graphic novel created by Alice Hill's father, fascinates a large audience. Mister Tender, a handsome bartender, listens carefully to the complaints of his customers, then asks what they would be willing to sacrifice to attain what they want.
When Alice was fourteen, she is brutally stabbed by two of her classmates who have not only been influenced by the graphic novels, but have received letters from Mister Tender. Yet...Mister Tender is a fiction. Right?
Her father quits writing the novels, her parents eventually separate, and her mother takes Alice and her brother to the U.S.
In the last two years, Alice has been able to establish herself in better circumstances. She owns a popular coffee shop and a home, but still suffers from PTSD and severe, disabling panic attacks that can last for hours.
As the yearly anniversary of the attack approaches, Alice discovers that someone is watching her, invading her privacy, and has even established an online site that focuses on Alice and the attack. The invasion into her life is chilling--the publication of her new name and address and prurient interest in her life terrifies her.
Moving to the U.S., changing her name, and developing her self-defense skills are not protecting Alice from the disturbing sense that things are going from bad to worse. Very soon, the bad begins to happen and the worse is yet to come.
Even as Alice tries to fight her harrowing circumstances, the knowledge of her watcher is usually a step ahead of her.
Sinister, full of menace throughout most of the book, Mister Tender's Girl took a few turns at the end that lowered my opinion. Nevertheless, if you want a book that will keep you glued to the pages, this one will do it.
Read in Jan.: blog review scheduled for Feb. 7, 2018.
Thriller. February 13, 2018. Print length: 400 pages.