Thursday, December 13, 2018

Watching You

Watching You by Lisa Jewell
Simon & Schuster: 12/26/18
eBook review copy; 336 pages
ISBN-13: 9781501190070

Watching You by Lisa Jewell is a very highly recommended psychological thriller. Wait for the shocking ending!

As in most neighborhoods, everyone is watching everyone else and they all have secrets. Melville Heights is one of the good neighborhoods in Bristol, England, but that doesn't mean murder can't happen here. We know from the prologue that someone was murdered right from the start - a dead body lies on the kitchen floor at the Fitzwilliam family home - and we know very quickly who the main suspect is as far as the police are concerned. Now let the real fun begin as we are introduced to all the players in this drama and their interconnection to each other as well as the secrets they are trying to hide.

Tom Fitzwilliam is the new head-turning headmaster at the local school. He's charming and loved by everyone - or is he? Joey (Josephine) Mullin and her new husband, Alfie, have just moved back to Bristol. They are living with Jack and Rebecca, her brother and his pregnant wife. Joey quickly becomes infatuated with Tom. Tom's wife, Nicola, ignores her son, worships Tom, and is focused on herself. Tom's son, Freddie, is watching the whole neighborhood and some of the local teenage girls. He likes to keep logs and take photos of what is going on around him. Jenna Tripp and her friend Bess Ridley are two of the girls Freddie is watching. Bess has a crush on Tom, while Jenna is suspicious of him. Jenna's mother, Frances, is stalking Tom and is sure he did something wrong years ago. 

This may seem to be a complex tangle of characters, but it was very easy to keep them sorted out as you read. After the prologue, the story then begins, starting three months before and leading up to the murder. Each person has multiple secrets and concerns. The narrative unfolds at an even pace through multiple perspectives and keeps the tension high as each new twist to the multiple story lines unfold. Even when you think you have it figured out, you won't. You will be guessing right up to the unexpected ending and the shocking revelation on the last page.

Watching You is an engrossing and unforgettable psychological thriller. The writing is excellent, as is the development of each character. You may like or dislike them, be understanding or suspicious of them, but you will know each character by the end. And even more importantly, you will be surprised more than once about their secrets.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

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