Watching Youby Published 26 Dec 2018
Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighbourhoods 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…
Watching You Reviews
Entrancing, irresistible and compelling!
WATCHING YOU by LISA JEWELL is a clever, unputdownable, and suspenseful psychological thriller novel that immediately drew me in and had me totally engrossed and interested right from the very first page.
The opening scene had me so intrigued in finding out who was murdered and why that I was racing through those pages as fast as I possibly could. We the readers aren’t privy to any of that information and that is definitely the strong point of this novel. The process is a slow-burn as we get to know all the characters and their motives. Plenty of questions started swirling around in my mind and where some of those questions are answered the motive behind those actions aren’t revealed to us until the end.
LISA JEWELL delivers an intriguing, character-driven, well-written and plotted story here with interesting and engaging characters that was told in multiple points of view along with police transcripts intertwined into the storyline. The police transcripts were a favorite and such an effective way for us to get a firsthand look into the investigation and pick up on some of those clues.
I absolutely loved that this book created so many questions and the subtle clues are perfectly interspersed in the storyline but piecing them all together was definitely making my head spin. So I decided that I was just going to read and let the story do the job for me. And, I am so glad that I did because what transpires in the end was absolutely stunning and so totally worth it!
Publishing Date: December 26, 2018
Cover: Eye-catching, intriguing, and effective! Absolutely love everything about this cover and such a fantastic representation to storyline.
Title: Intriguing, suspenseful, and an absolutely perfect representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, engaging, absorbing, captivating, and skilled.
Plot: Suspenseful, fascinating, engrossing, fast-paced, held my attention fully and extremely entertaining.
Ending: A twist ending that wrapped up everything perfectly! Loved it!
Overall: An irresistible, intense, surprising, suspenseful, and fabulous read! Would highly recommend!
Thank you so much to NetGalley, Atria Books, and Lisa Jewell for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
Review can also be found on our Two Sisters Lost in a Coulee Reading book blog:
A creepy compulsive character driven thriller that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up!
This is my very first book by Lisa Jewell, I know, I know, shame on me! But before you start writing me hate male, LOL, this absolutely will not be my last! Miss Jewell won me over after the first chapter! Her exceptional character developMent made my heart sing! Add in a complicated twisty plot that sucked me in from the very first page and short chapters that kept me on my toes.... and all I can say is YES! YES! YES!
The book starts out with a dead body, somebody has been murdered... but who? And why? And by whom? The story is then told from multiple different perspectives leading up to the murder.... there is a lot of speculation about Tom Fitzwilliams the new head teacher... he appears to be a little too friendly with his students especially the female ones, and what happened 20 years ago? And why does he move around so much? What I thought was so brilliant about this story is we never get Tom’s perspective, but we get that of those around him, we learn about him and form our opinions of him through their eyes.... The three primary narrators in the story see Tom in very different ways... Joey the newlywed who has just moved in twohouses away from him is seriously infatuated almost borderline obsessed with him... Freddy, Tom’s son and a kind of lovable oddball is sometimes frightened and sometimes not by him... Jana the teenager down the street and a student at Tom’s school is very creeped out by him, convinced he is acting inappropriately towards her BFF.... we also get treated to the police transcripts of the investigation peppered in throughout the book, I thought this added an additional layer to the story.
Throughout the story there is a lot of watching going on... Freddie is watching the entire neighborhood... let me just add in my opinion here, getting your teenage son high power binoculars, probably not a great idea, just saying...We also had Jenna’s mother convinced crazy shenanigans are going on, watching Tom... Jenna is watching and watching out for her BFF... Joey is watching the comings and goings of Tom and his wife... and so on, made me wonder what is going on in my own neighborhood?
This book was really all about perception and assumption, my opinion of each and every character in this book change from beginning to end.... made you realize you never really get the entire picture.... a wonderful book about the darker side of what goes on behind closed doors...
Absolutely recommend to anyone who enjoys an addictive dark twisted story with fantastically developed characters and a mystery that will keep you guessing!
*** many thanks to Random House Cornerstone for my copy of this book ***
I always feel like somebody's watching me...
A picturesque street in a nice neighborhood in England. Painted pastel houses with cozy surroundings. Behind closed doors, someone is watching...
Tom Fitzwilliam, the headmaster at a local school is a husband, a father, and a rather flirty guy who knows he has a way with the women.
Joey Mullen and her husband Alfie, have just moved in with her brother so they can get their lives sorted. Joey is going through a bit of a crisis in her marriage, when she meets Tom and is suddenly and unexpectedly obsessed with him. Timing is everything, if it hadn't been him, maybe it would have been someone else?
When someone is found murdered, everyone has an opinion about who is responsible and past secrets are starting to come to light.
One of my favorite parts of the story is the recorded police interviews that are dispersed throughout the book, giving clues to who is suspected and where the investigation is focusing. I kept trying to figure out Tom and figure out if he was misunderstood or just another cagey predator.
I was able to figure out the first twist, but that was due to the clever hints that Jewell laid out in the previous chapters. This was an intriguing character driven mystery that had me diagnosing all the characters at every turn.
The last twist comes in the last paragraph and was quite a stunner!
Thanks to NG for my copy to read/review. Review will post to my blog on Monday 11/19/18
4, everyone is watching stars!!!
Full review featured on my blog Recipe & a Read!
Lisa Jewell’s Watching You starts out with an immediate hook – there’s a dead body laying on the floor and Detective Rose Pelham as she examines the crime scene to try to solve the mystery. Following this shocking first chapter, we fall right into the story, told mostly through one of three major POVs – Josephine “Joey” Mullen. Joey is speaking to her late mother at her grave, updating her on her life and the choices she’s made. As the younger sister of an esteemed elder brother, she has always felt wayward, lesser and essentially – like a hot mess comparatively.
At it’s heart, this book is much like the title – a story about interwoven lives and how in a neighborhood like Melville Heights, someone is always watching. Meet Tom Fitzwilliam: he’s a new hot shot teacher in town, cleaning up a troubled school and making the ladies swoon as he walks down the street. For some reason his charm, wit and fairly run-of-the-mill dad looks are making everyone – male and female alike weak at the knees. Everyone that is, except Jenna Tripps mother who knows Tom Fitzwilliam is up to no good. Jenna’s best friend Bess however, is another story and obsession is putting her feelings towards Mr. Fitzwilliam lightly.
“He’s not old,” Bess replied. “He’s mature. Like wine. Like Cheese. I love him. I actually love him.”
As the story progressed, for me I was struck with a little bit of Big Little Lies vibes along with this feeling a bit like the mystery / thriller version of one of those cheesy movies with too many celebrities. The original of course being Love Actually, eventually followed by lesser movies such as Valentines Day and the like. While this didn’t feel like there were too many characters, this was certainly a character driven psychological thriller. There are quite a few story lines going on here and it was a bit difficult for me to grasp at first. While the overall development of each character was done really well, I found their individuality to fall just short for me at a few points throughout this read.
And then the word came to her, the elusive word she’d been chasing through her thoughts. The look that Mr. Fitzwilliam had given. It has been predatory.
I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again – I’m a pretty garbage detective for the most part but I did see the ending to this one coming from about the halfway mark. While I don’t think it necessarily detracted from my overall enjoyment of this read (because I gobbled this baby up in almost one sitting) I do wish there had been a few more surprises for the reader. However, that being said – this is definitely on the psychological side of thrillers and the shock value tends to be in the progression of the story instead of the “a-ha” moment at the end.
Overall, I really enjoyed this quick, fun and fast-paced story. Jewell has an incredible story-telling skill and the ability to create really well rounded, character driven novels. This is only my second novel by her but I have a few more I’ve picked up in the past year that I’m excited to read. Her popularity is definitely earned!
I completed this as a Traveling Sisters read and it was a real joy to read and discuss with others!
4 Super Creepy Stars.
Lisa Jewell’s latest novel gives a different meaning to the phrase “neighborhood watch association.” In the case of “Watching You” the motive however, is obsession.
It’s unhealthy, it’s unwelcome and yes, it’s salacious and I couldn’t get enough.
Joey and her husband Alfie are newlyweds who recently moved in with her brother Jack and his wife Rebecca. Joey has developed an unnatural interest in their neighbor, Tom Fitzsimmons, the Headmaster at School. Tom & his wife Nicola’s teenage son, Freddie, takes photos of all the neighbors and the girls in school which he keeps for “informational purposes.” Jenna’s best friend Bess, has a mad crush on Tom. Jenna’s mum is fixated on Tom too.. but she has her reasons - and is convinced that he’s up to something. Could it be? Tom’s past sure seems a bit shady, but then he might just be a regular bloak, trying to eek out an existence, in a town full of people just like him.
Everyone in the village sure appears to be infatuated with Tom! What is it about this guy? Sounds like a guy I need to meet! Baah! (JK!)
Of course, I think we all know that obsession never turns out well! Not in psychological thrillers and certainly not real life. Lisa Jewell’s latest suspense “Watching You” made my stomach churn and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. It was a super fast read that had me totally engrossed from the first to the very last page even though I guessed the ending. A must-read for mystery / suspense fans!
This was a fabulous buddy read with Kaceey! We’ve now read several Lisa Jewell novels together and I can’t wait for our next one.
Thank you to NetGalley, Atria Books and Lisa Jewell for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Published on NetGalley, Goodreads and Twitter on 11.10.18.