Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Watcher

The Watcher by Ross Armstrong
MIRA: 4/25/17
eBook review copy; 336 pages
ISBN-13: 9780778330721

The Watcher by Ross Armstrong is a recommended novel of suspense with an unreliable narrator.

"Lily Gullick lives with her husband, Aiden, in a brand-new apartment opposite a building that has been marked for demolition. A keen bird-watcher, she can't help spying on her neighbors.
Until one day Lily sees something suspicious through her binoculars, and soon her elderly neighbor Jean is found dead. Lily, intrigued by the social divide in her local area as it becomes increasingly gentrified, knows that she has to act. But her interference is not going unnoticed, and as she starts to get close to the truth, her own life comes under threat."

With a nod to Hitchcock's Rear Window, the narrator, Lily, is watching her neighbors and neighborhood out her window with binoculars and giving those she sees names, as well as recording what they are doing. Her husband, Aiden is even writing a book about the famous director. The Watcher is written in the form of a long letter or journal entry to a recipient who is identified much later in the book. As the novel progresses, Lily reveals more about herself and you will begin to realize that something is off with her and her responses. Can she be believed?

This is a satisfying debut novel and has several surprises along the way that you won't see coming - along with some you might. Since Lily is the only character we have any insight into, we have to view the action through her perceptions and conclusions - and they will start to feel skewed after a bit. It is a novel about perception and creates a fair amount of psychological suspense as the action and Lily's conclusions become more intense.

Those who enjoy mysteries and like following the point-of-view of one character should certainly look into
The Watcher.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of MIRA.

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