Rating: 4 / 5
I just recently picked up WATCHING YOU by Lisa Jewell when I finally got back into my favorite used bookstore after not going for six months, so was happy to be able to fit it in during September’s #Bookoplathon!
WATCHING YOU is set in a nice neighborhood in England full of well to do professionals. Or at least that is what is on the surface. Tom is the headmaster that schools call in when their school needs help getting back on track. He has a lot of successes on record, but could moving around so frequently be more than about his job? Tom’s son Freddie is obsessed with keeping watch on the neighborhood from his upstairs window.
Elsewhere in the neighborhood Joey is a young newlywed who has moved herself and her husband in with her brother’s family. She immediately develops a crush on Tom and questions her whirlwind relationship with her husband. Jenna is a high school studen keeping an eye on Tom’s interest in her best friend while Jenna’s mother is convinced that someone is watching her. Knowing all of this, it isn’t entirely shocking when someone winds up murdered.
I went into WATCHING YOU not knowing a lot about what to expect, but I was hooked. Much like other of Jewell’s books that I’ve read, this one isn’t a fast paced thriller as it is sometimes marketed, but a deep dive into characters and story line that makes this into a gripping read that keeps you wanting to know more. The book is made up of jumping timelines, both narrative and interview transcripts, and multiple POVs that keep you hooked while providing the reader with new information about the mystery at a good pace. You don’t initially know who was murdered or why, but everyone has secrets yet to be uncovered.
There are a lot of characters to get to know throughout this one, so it did take a bit to settle in with each of the perspectives, but I really enjoyed this one overall. I think each of the perspectives adds a good bit to the story and it was interesting to see how they all played out together! I wasn’t especially shocked at any of the twists revealed, but I did find the unique setup to keep me guessing!