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Title: Watching You
Author: Lisa Jewell
Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Date: December 26, 2018
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.18
Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.
As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.
One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.
Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…
Multiple people in the same neighborhood have connections in their lives. They watch one another, think about one another, and keep secrets from one another.
This book has a lot of characters and multiple stories happening. At first, I found this confusing, but once I got the hang of who everyone was and how they were connected, it was an enjoyable read. The characters include Joey and her husband Alfie, Jack and his wife Rebecca, The Fitzwilliams, and Jenna and her mom Frances. Joey and Alfie are young newlyweds who got married after a whirlwind romance. They are living with Joey’s brother Jack and his wife Rebecca. The Fitzwilliams are neighbors, and Joey is attracted to Tom Fitzwilliam. Tom is married to Nicola and they have a son, Freddie. Tom is charming and handsome, and attracts the ladies. Freddie spends his free time spying on the neighborhood. Also in the neighborhood are Jenna and her mother Frances. Jenna is a student at the school where Tom works, and Frances is paranoid and mentally unstable.
These residents of the same neighborhood have current lives that intersect, but some of them also have connections in their past. Making things more interesting, some of the neighbors spend time watching one another, and almost everyone has secrets. When a murder takes place in the neighborhood, secrets start to be revealed.
A character driven psychological thriller. Maybe it’s because I read a lot of thrillers, but the twists didn’t really come as a surprise. It was still an intriguing read, and one I recommend. Dark, complex, and twisted.
I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.