Title: Watching You
Author: Lisa Jewell
Published December 26, 2018 by Atria Books
Page Count: 336
A murder has taken place. A woman is dead. We don’t know who killed her. And we don’t know who was watching.
The stunning cover of Watching You gives the impression that it tells the story of someone watching others through the window, and that’s exactly what this book is about.
“Because that’s the thing with getting what you want: all that yearning and dreaming and fantasizing leaves a great big hole that can only be filled with more yearning and dreaming and fantasizing.”
Joey (Josephine) is a twenty-seven-year-old living with her boyfriend, brother, and brother’s wife in a charming Bristol suburb. Joey becomes infatuated with her neighbour, Tom, a fifty-one-year-old who lives with his wife, Nicola, and teenage son, Freddie. Freddie is socially-awkward, is on the Autism spectrum, and is obsessed with observing people in the neighbourhood. One of Tom’s students, Jenna, lives with her mentally-ill mother who is paranoid and captivated with watching everyone. Jenna is suspicious of Tom’s behaviour and thinks he has an inappropriate relationship with a student.
“Voyeurism was a form of control, like mental abuse, like rape, like bullying. It was nothing to do with the physicality of the action, and all to do with the feeling of power it gave the perpetrator, the balancing out of delicate ids and egos.”
If you don’t like unlikable characters, then this may not be a good choice for you.
Watching You is an intense story with short chapters, and intriguing characters. I was trying to figure out the mystery the entire time, and was mind-blown when everything was revealed. The idea of characters being watched, or watching others gives this thriller a creepy feel. Highly recommend!
Overall: 3.9/5 Rounded to 4/5 on Goodreads
Thank you to Netgalley and publisher for the complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.
*Quotes taken from an ARC copy and subject to change*
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.”