10 June 2018

Watching You

Psychological Thriller

By Lisa Jewell

Paperback 400 pages
Publisher Arrow (7th Feb 2019)
ISBN-13 978-1784756277

'If you only pick one summer read this year, make it Watching You. I inhaled it in one sitting. A gripping plot, characters you love but can't trust, and a thumping emotional heart, Lisa Jewell has done it again.' Sarah Pinborough, author of Behind Her Eyes and 13 Minutes

📕My Review

Josephine (Joey) and her new husband are back home from working abroad and now living with Joey's brother and his pregnant wife. Joey finds herself inexplicably attracted to married, charismatic headteacher Tom Fitzwilliam, who lives two doors away. Tom's son Freddie is a 'watcher'; he snaps photos of his neighbours' comings and goings through his digital binoculars.

Mentally unbalanced Frances lives with her schoolgirl daughter Jenna. Frances is convinced Tom Fitzwilliam is hiding a secret. She recognises him from a coach trip several years earlier when he was attacked by two women who very clearly held a grudge. But when Jenna confronts him, he claims to have no idea who the women were. Something isn't adding up. What is Tom hiding and more importantly, WHY?

I really enjoyed Watching You by Lisa Jewell. Although slow to get started, once it did, it really took off. I was completely immersed in these peoples' lives. These seemingly innocuous neighbours all had secrets to hide. There were twists and turns aplenty, red herrings and a scattering of clues along the way. It's a story of love, obsession, betrayal, lies and ultimately, murder. There's an underlying uneasiness throughout - the feeling of tension and creepiness. You know all is not as it appears.

Whilst character development is excellent, be prepared for a cast of many. At first I had difficulty keeping track of everyone, but once I'd settled into the book, it became less of a problem. In fact I found it a bonus - more tangled webs to be unraveled and more suspects to suspect! Towards the end it became a little obvious which direction the story was taking, but oh boy, I really enjoyed the turbulent journey getting there!       

My thanks to Lisa Jewell, NetGalley and Cornerstone Digital for providing a copy of this book.

Barnsey's Books Rating 

Other reviews:
The Family Upstairs

📗The Blurb

You’re not the only one watching.

You’re back home after four years working abroad, new husband in tow.

You’re keen to find a place of your own. But for now you’re crashing in your big brother’s spare room.

That’s when you meet the man next door.

He’s the head teacher at the local school. Twice your age. Extraordinarily attractive. You find yourself watching him.

All the time.

But you never dreamed that your innocent crush might become a deadly obsession.

Or that someone is watching you.

📘The Author

Lisa was born in London in 1968. Her mother was a secretary and her father was a textile agent and she was brought up in the northernmost reaches of London with her two younger sisters. She waseducated at a Catholic girls’ Grammar school in Finchley. After leaving school at sixteen she spent two years at Barnet College doing an arts foundation course and then two years at Epsom School of Art & Design studying Fashion Illustration and Communication.

She worked for the fashion chain Warehouse for three years as a PR assistant and then for Thomas Pink, the Jermyn Street shirt company for four years as a receptionist and PA. She started her first novel, Ralph’s Party, for a bet in 1996. She finished it in 1997 and it was published by Penguin books in May 1998. It went on to become the best-selling debut novel of that year.

She has since written a further nine novels, as is currently at work on her eleventh.

She now lives in an innermost part of north London with her husband Jascha, an IT consultant, her daughters, Amelie and Evie and her silver tabbies, Jack and Milly.

Lisa Jewell's website

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