Happy Thursday readers! I am up extra early this morning trying to dig myself out of the work whole this transplant surgery has gotten me into! My hope was to get this review up yesterday (publication day) but my father-in-law was released from the hospital and we moved to out of our Airbnb and into a hotel prior to my husbands follow up appointment tomorrow, so it was hectic to say the very least. Good news is we’ll be *FINALLY* back home by Saturday and three weeks living out of a suitcase under a lot of stress is way too long to be away from home! I hope everyone had the most fabulous Christmas / Holiday break and that everyone also has a wonderful New Years! Today I’m linking up with some of my all time favorite ladies! Brenda and Norma AKA the Traveling Sisters and Kim from It’s All About the Thrill also just posted their reviews for this one as we read it as a Traveling Sisters read! So if you haven’t checked out their reviews, bee-bop on over there and do it!
Lisa Jewell’s Watching You starts out with an immediate hook – there’s a dead body laying on the floor and Detective Rose Pelham as she examines the crime scene to try to solve the mystery. Following this shocking first chapter, we fall right into the story, told mostly through one of three major POVs – Josephine “Joey” Mullen. Joey is speaking to her late mother at her grave, updating her on her life and the choices she’s made. As the younger sister of an esteemed elder brother, she has always felt wayward, lesser and essentially – like a hot mess comparatively.
At it’s heart, this book is much like the title – a story about interwoven lives and how in a neighborhood like Melville Heights, someone is always watching. Meet Tom Fitzwilliam: he’s a new hot shot teacher in town, cleaning up a troubled school and making the ladies swoon as he walks down the street. For some reason his charm, wit and fairly run-of-the-mill dad looks are making everyone – male and female alike weak at the knees. Everyone that is, except Jenna Tripps mother who knows Tom Fitzwilliam is up to no good. Jenna’s best friend Bess however, is another story and obsession is putting her feelings towards Mr. Fitzwilliam lightly.
“He’s not old,” Bess replied. “He’s mature. Like wine. Like Cheese. I love him. I actually love him.”
As the story progressed, for me I was struck with a little bit of Big Little Lies vibes along with this feeling a bit like the mystery / thriller version of one of those cheesy movies with too many celebrities. The original of course being Love Actually, eventually followed by lesser movies such as Valentines Day and the like. While this didn’t feel like there were too many characters, this was certainly a character driven psychological thriller. There are quite a few story lines going on here and it was a bit difficult for me to grasp at first. While the overall development of each character was done really well, I found their individuality to fall just short for me at a few points throughout this read.
And then the word came to her, the elusive word she’d been chasing through her thoughts. The look that Mr. Fitzwilliam had given. It has been predatory.
I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again – I’m a pretty garbage detective for the most part but I did see the ending to this one coming from about the halfway mark. While I don’t think it necessarily detracted from my overall enjoyment of this read (because I gobbled this baby up in almost one sitting) I do wish there had been a few more surprises for the reader. However, that being said – this is definitely on the psychological side of thrillers and the shock value tends to be in the progression of the story instead of the “a-ha” moment at the end.
Overall, I really enjoyed this quick, fun and fast-paced story. Jewell has an incredible story-telling skill and the ability to create really well rounded, character driven novels. This is only my second novel by her but I have a few more I’ve picked up in the past year that I’m excited to read. Her popularity is definitely earned!
Long Story Short:
Suggested For: *Obvi* Lisa Jewell fans, fans of mysteries and thrillers, especially psychological thrillers!
Music Mood: Hey Stranger by Mandolin Orange
Have you read Watching You or other works by Lisa Jewell? What did you think? Drop me a note in the comments and let me know!