Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Review: Watching You by Lisa Jewell

I have recently discovered Lisa Jewell's psychological suspense novels and I was thrilled to get the chance to read an early copy of Watching You. Although it's not quite my favourite (that would be I Found You), I do think it's her best one yet. 

Watching You takes its time to introduce the all characters and the problems in their lives. It opens with the police investigating the murder of an unknown victim, before taking up the story from Joey's (Josephine's) viewpoint. Joey is a bit of a disaster, recently returned from working in Ibiza and married on a whim; she and her husband now live with her brother and sister-in-law in one of the 'iconic' painted Victorian villas above the town. But, despite being newly-wed, it doesn't take long for Joey to fall madly in lust with her neighbour Tom, a handsome but married headteacher, who seems oblivious to the fact that practically every woman in the district is in love with him. Or is he?

Other points of view include Tom's troubled teenage son, Freddie, who spends his time logging the movements of the neighbours, and Jenna, one of Tom's pupils, whose mother is convinced Tom is stalking her. One of the themes running through the story, as you might have guessed, is obsession. 

Lisa Jewell writes in a deceptively simple style that immediately draws you into her world. She has a particular talent for making unlikeable characters likeable; by the end of the story Freddie was my favourite character.  I was completely gripped by the lives of these people and was convinced I'd worked out the identity of the victim and murderer early on. It was only at the very end that I realised how cleverly I'd been duped.

Watching You is a mix of family/domestic drama and psychological suspense and I can see it appealing to fans of authors such as Dorothy Koomson. I thought it was completely brilliant and I absolutely loved it.

Thank you to Lisa Jewell and Cornerstone Digital for my copy of this book, which I requested from NetGalley and reviewed voluntarily.

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