Friday, 10 February 2017

I See You

Author: Clare Mackintosh
Genre: Suspense
Type: Trade Paperback
Pages: 374
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Berkley
First Published: February 12, 2017

First Line: "The man behind me is standing close enough to moisten the skin on my neck with his breath."

Book Description from GoodReadsEvery morning and evening, Zoe Walker takes the same route to the train station, waits at a certain place on the platform, finds her favorite spot in the car, never suspecting that someone is watching her... 

It all starts with a classified ad. During her commute home one night, while glancing through her local paper, Zoe sees her own face staring back at her; a grainy photo along with a phone number and a listing for a website called 

Other women begin appearing in the same ad, a different one every day, and Zoe realizes they've become the victims of increasingly violent crimes--including murder. With the help of a determined cop, she uncovers the ad's twisted purpose...A discovery that turns her paranoia into full-blown panic. Zoe is sure that someone close to her has set her up as the next target.

And now that man on the train--the one smiling at Zoe from across the car--could be more than just a friendly stranger. He could be someone who has deliberately chosen her and is ready to make his next move... 

My Rating: 4 stars

My Review:  The premise of I See You is not only intriguing but quite appropriate since we live in a society that is determined to monitor our movements more and more. The idea that someone could monitor your daily movements without your knowledge is ominous and intimidating.  Worse still is the idea that someone might act on that knowledge for nefarious reasons.  This whole 'I'm watching you' premise is creepy as all get out, will give you the heebie-jeebies and cause you to look at your fellow commuters with suspicion. Oh ya.  It's that good.

This was my first book by Mackintosh and I quite enjoyed this suspenseful read.  The tension builds throughout the book with many prospective culprits and mighty fine twists brought into the fray.  I kept changing my mind about 'whodunnit' and while I had initially guessed the baddie I quickly dismissed him/her only to find out that my initial assumptions were true ... sort of.

I was on the edge of my seat for most of the book but when the big reveal happened (or at least the first part of the reveal) the ensuing scene was lackluster and felt oddly tacked on. Things pick up again in the last few pages but that one scene slowed the momentum of the book for me.

The story is told via three points of view - Zoe, a middle-class Mom trying to make ends meet; Kelly, the police officer determined to find the person who is hunting these unsuspecting women and lastly, the mystery person/baddie whose short, italicized chapters are interspersed to keep the creep factor high. 

While those sinister tidbits are scattered throughout it was Kelly and Zoe who tell the story.  Kelly's chapters are told in the third person showing her as an impulsive yet feisty cop.  I found her to be a more interesting main character than Zoe (possibly because we have more back story on her).  Zoe's chapters are narrated in the first person which means readers get caught up in her inner thoughts - many of which I thought put her in an annoyingly naive/doormat light.  The other characters are not as fleshed out as I would have hoped but play their parts - some are likable and others you can't help but dislike.

Overall, this was a very impressive, edge-of-your-seat suspense novel and while there were a few minor issues, it was an enjoyably sinister read.  Mackintosh takes her readers on one heck of a creepy ride and will make you look over your shoulder for awhile after reading it.  

Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Berkley Publishing for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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