I SEE YOU
By: Clare Mackintosh
Published: February 21, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Books
I was sufficiently creeped out by this book, so much so that I didn't even want to read it. This merging of stalking with technology and media would make most of us question our daily routines.
Zoe Walker sees her face in a classified ad and knows she didn't place it there. She starts to wonder if she is seeing things and then notices other women in the ads during the following days. Only those women are now dead. Women in London are reporting things taken while on the tube, feeling like they are being followed, thinking people are in their homes, and then there are others who are raped or killed. Zoe finds a cop who will listen and the two of them are determined to find out who is behind this sick game before anyone else is hurt.
Zoe is a divorced mom of two adult children who live with her and Zoe's new boyfriend. They live next door to her best friend Melissa in London. Zoe takes the same tube to her job every day. She drops a coin in a musician's guitar case every morning. On her way home she stops by her friend Melissa's restaurant where her son also works. Her routine is easy to follow and predictable. So she is perfect for this twisted game that someone has created. She tries to ignore it until one day she is pushed in front of the tube and then a stranger pulls her to safety and tries to ask her on a date. Zoe realizes she is definitely part of this game and needs to have it stopped.
Unfortunately, this book moved pretty sluggishly for me. There was a lot of detail in the beginning about the various characters, Zoe's previous marriage, and the police case involving the other women from the ads. But, it just never went anywhere. The police kept ignoring Zoe's demands. Her family kept telling her that it was just a look-a-like in the ad and not her. The pacing was just too slow for me. When I am reading a suspense novel I want to be forced to turn the pages like mad because I want to know what is going to happen. With this one, I was just not interested and ended up skimming several chapters because it didn't seem to be necessary to the story. After a few chapters that feature women who have been followed, then the author slips in a page or two from the person behind the game. It's almost like a journal entry where the perpetrator is marking the women's moves and routines while mocking how easy they are to track. Those were the most creative and twisted parts of the story. It really showed the corrupt mind this person had to create this awful game and the author's ability to create an evil character.
As I eventually found out who was behind the crimes and the ads, I was pretty shocked and didn't see that person as being the one. But, then once it was revealed, the story seemed to be a bit unbelievable and rushed. There is another shocker on the very last page and left me with a feeling of dread. It was a disturbing novel to read and to end it in a way that left me feeling uneasy made me like the novel even less.
For readers who like a fast-paced thriller then this book isn't for you. But if you like books set in London or thrillers that keep you guessing with lots of side stories then you might like this one. Keep in mind the storyline can be disturbing for those who are sensitive towards violence against women.
Check out my review of Mackintosh's first book, I LET YOU GO.
Clare Mackintosh is an author, feature writer, and columnist. She has written for The Guardian, Sainsbury's Magazine, The Green Parent, and many other national publications, and is a columnist for Cotswold Life and Writing Magazine.
Clare spent twelve years in the police force, working on CID, in custody, and as a public order commander, and has drawn on her experiences for her books. For more on Mackintosh, check out her website, HERE.
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