He main characters of the book are Ashley Patterson, an introverted workaholic, her co-workers, Toni Prescott, an outgoing singer and dancer, and shy artist Alette Peters and Ashley's father.
The three women do not get along very well, because of their dissimilar natures. Toni and Alette generally maintain a friendship, with Alette a calming influence, but Toni dislikes Ashley and criticizes her harshly. All three have issues with their mothers having told them they'd never amount to anything.
Ashley fears that somebody is following her. She finds her house lights turned on when she returns from work, her personal effects in disarray, and someone has written "You will die" on her mirror with a lipstick. She thinks someone's broken into her house. She requests a police escort, but the next morning, the police officer assigned to this duty is found dead in her apartment.

From the book

Someone was following her. She had read about stalkers, but 
they belonged in a different, violent world. She had no idea who 
it could be, who would want to harm her. She was trying 
desperately hard not to panic, but lately her sleep had been filled 
with unbearable nightmares, and she had awakened each 
morning with a feeling of impending doom. Perhaps it's all in my 
imagination,Ashley Patterson thought. I'm working too hard. I 
need a vacation.
She turned to study herself in her bedroom mirror. She was 
looking at the image of a woman in her late twenties, neatly 
dressed, with patrician features, a slim figure and intelligent, 
anxious brown eyes. There was a quiet elegance about her, a 
subtle attractiveness. Her dark hair fell softly to her shoulders. I
hate my looks,Ashley thought. I'm too thin. I must start eating 
more.She walked into the kitchen and began to fix breakfast, 
forcing her mind to forget about the frightening thing that was 
happening, and concentrating on preparing a fluffy omelette. She 
turned on the coffeemaker and put a slice of bread in the toaster. 
Ten minutes later, everything was ready. Ashley placed the 
dishes on the table and sat down. She picked up a fork, stared at 
the food for a moment, then shook her head in despair. Fear had 
taken away her appetite.

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