The Professor lives in Brooklyn; her partner Nathan left her when she couldn’t have a baby. All she has now is her dead-end teaching job, her ramshackle apartment, and Nathan’s old moggy, Cat. Who she doesn’t even like.
The Actress lives a few doors down. She’s famous and beautiful, with auburn hair, perfect skin, a lovely smile. She’s got children – a baby, even. And a husband who seems to adore her. She leaves her windows open, even at night.
There’s no harm, the Professor thinks, in looking in through the illuminated glass at that shiny, happy family, fantasizing about them, drawing ever closer to the actress herself. Or is there?
Looker is a haunting, considered psychological drama that slowly peels away the layers of one engaging, vivid and intriguingly believable character.
Our Professor narrates the tale as her deep and abiding obsession with The Actress seeps into every corner of her life. Neither character is given a name, one watches, one is watched, all through a glass darkly with the increasingly skewed vision The Professor presents.
There is a creeping sense of menace, a depth to the prose that gets under your skin- I found myself shivering deliciously as events unfolded, never really knowing where things were heading until they got there. Looker is both clever and devilishly insightful, allowing the reader a safe glimpse into an ever darkening mind.
Descriptively beautiful, spiralling downwards towards an emotionally charged finale, this is not a thriller or a mystery, this is an incredibly accomplished character drama that will haunt your dreams. I loved it. The Professor is an old school, definitive unreliable narrator, a fascinating example of the darkness that can lurk beneath the surface.