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Watching You Bets On...

Watching You

January 2019

For me, WATCHING YOU is Lisa Jewell’s best book! I could leave you with that comment and, if you like thrillers, just tell you to read it now, but I will whet your appetite a bit more. The story is set in the small village of Melville Heights in Bristol, where the houses are close enough that the comings and goings of the neighbors are closely monitored. On the opening page, there is a diary entry from a young girl who has a crush on her much older teacher; that note is dated 1996. In the Prologue we learn there is a dead body, but that entry is dated March 2017. So what happened in between? Who wrote the note? Who is dead? Lisa wastes no time in setting up the questions that will get you trying to unravel this thriller. Bam, you are into it.

Tom Fitzwilliam has moved his family around as his job is working with troubled schools and getting them on track. Is he the teacher crush? That is so likely, but would that be too neat? Reading Lisa’s books in the past, I know to expect something more. Tom’s wife, Nicola, is a runner, which has her out and about their neighborhood at all hours of the day. Why does she run, and what does she see when she is out running? Their son, Freddie, likes taking photos of the neighbors and keeping tabs on them from his room. He’s a loner, with no friends his age, but he watches. What does he see, and what does he know?

The rest of the neighbors include Jack, a prominent surgeon, and his wife Rebecca, who is newly pregnant and not thrilled with this event. They share their home with his sister Joey and her husband Alfie, who are there temporarily after their idyllic honeymoon, as they get their lives together. There are also two high school girls, Jenna and Bess, and Jenna’s mother. Three of these women are smitten with Tom, which immediately had me thinking who plays him in a potential movie. It also has lots of reasons for Tom to be a suspect.

The story unwinds being told through various POVs and the transcript of interviews with the police department. Because Lisa’s character descriptions are so strong, I never felt lost, though there are many, many players. As far as the plot goes, I would guess what was going on and then be tossed in another direction.

You need to read right through to the end to get the whole story; Lisa wraps things up so very, very well. After finishing WATCHING YOU, you will have to decide which of her books to read next. You’re lucky; I have read her last four thrillers and enjoyed each one. It’s January, you have lots of reading time…and, mark my words, she is going to be an author who many will be talking about!

Watching You
by Lisa Jewell