Title: Watching You
Author: Lisa Jewell
Date of Publication: 12th July 2018
Date of Review: 19th June 2018
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.
Watching You by Lisa Jewell is a psychological thriller with a third-person omniscient narrative. The story starts with a flash-forward prologue announcing the discovery of a body, before chronologically structured chapters reveal events of the three months leading up to the murder. Just who has been murdered is something that isn’t revealed until much later.
Typical of this author, characters have a unique realness about them. Some likeable, some not, but all extremely believable. Whilst the narrative as a whole is omniscient, each chapter is from a limited perspective of various diverse characters. With the novel full of red herrings Lisa Jewell’s ability to head hop between male and female, old and young, and one social class to another, adds to the story’s intrigue as to who is telling the truth. As soon as you start to think one thing, another sets you off on another trail. Whether you see, Tom as a caring headmaster who protects and supports his students, or a creepy slime ball who hides under his professional status, depends on which character you believe. And his wife, Nicola, is she really as downtrodden as she makes out? Joey, the protagonist is no exception. With self-esteem issues that lead her on a path of self-destruction, can we really trust this character?
Although there are lots of characters, I still found the storyline easy to follow. With engaging characters and twists galore, the fast paced short chapters made for a page turning read that saw the novel read within two days. There is brilliant twist at the end, but heart-breaking at the same time.
I recommend this book for anybody who likes Louise Jensen or Jane Corry.Under Literature Love’s rating scheme, this book has been awarded 5 out of 5 stars. A five-star review means:
I absolutely loved this book and couldn’t put it down. I recommend you stop what you’re doing and go and buy this book now! As well as having all the elements of a four-star review, the language is original and compelling; characters jumped off the page, and twists in the plot left me gasping.
Thank you to Lisa Jewell, and Najma Finlay at Penguin Books UK, for an Advance Review copy of this book in return for an honest and unbiased review.