Watching You by Lisa Jewell

I am a huge fan of mystery and psychological thrillers and Watching You by Lisa Jewell is a fabulous addition to the genre.  The twists and turns in this thriller will keep you guessing until literally the last paragraph.  The book begins with a murder in an affluent English town but the reader does not know the who, what, when, where or how.  With an opening such as this, the tension grows and every character’s motivations are suspect until the true killer is revealed.

Newlyweds Joey Mullen and her husband Alfie have just moved to the exclusive neighborhood of Melville Heights in Bristol, England.  Unable to afford rent on their own, they take up residence with Joey’s brother and sister-in-law.  As a newcomer in the neighborhood, Joey befriends Tom Fitzwilliam, the beloved local school headmaster who lives two doors away and her initial friendship turns quickly from infatuation to obsession.  But, unbeknownst to Joey,  someone is watching through their photographic lens.  It is Tom’s teenage son, Freddie, who documents the goings on in Melville Heights and sees the blossoming relationship his dad is starting with Joey.

But Joey isn’t the only person in this neighborhood who is obsessed with Tom Fitzwilliam.  Bess, a young student at the school, is observed slipping in and out of the headmaster’s office by Jenna, another teen in the neighborhood and the speculation grows.  Does Tom have secrets to hide?   To add to the intrigue Jenna’s mother is convinced a group of neighbors, headed by Fitzwilliam, is stalking her.  Young Freddie and Jenna join forces and with their prying eyes discover a decades old suicide which will bring motivations for murder to light.  Everyone has a reason, but who is willing to kill in order to keep a secret and enact revenge?

About half way throughout the book I thought I knew the ending, but I was completely shocked at the culprit and the twisted motivations behind the killing.  I highly recommend Watching You for suspense and thriller fans!






One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis

Opinion is truly divided on One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis.  People who don’t like it, really HATE it. They feel manipulated and ticked off at the author and the main character – Emily/Cat. I have to admit, I began to fall into the second camp midway into the book, but still had to finish it. Seskis subverts expectations over and over again, and I think this is part of why people get upset. It seems to be one sort of book and then it goes in a completely different direction

The author tantalizes the reader by withholding critical information. Why has Emily left her life? What exactly was the tragedy that set her flight from her family and home into motion? Some of the most interesting parts of the book are the methods Emily/Cat uses to disappear. Because her passport is in her maiden name, which is a common one (Brown) and because she alters her first name, she is able to get lost in London.

As Emily transitions to Cat, it’s gratifying to see her gradually re-build her life – she gets a job she is good at, a place to live, and a new friend. However, it doesn’t take long for Cat to spiral out of control – she alienates co-workers as her drug use and drinking escalates. The actions of her truly awful sister and the series of events that lead to her becoming a national pariah, make you wonder if these things are really happening or if they are part of Cat’s hallucinations. 

If you like intricate plots, and don’t necessarily need a cuddly heroine, you may enjoy this domestic suspense novel.