Wednesday 27 July 2016

Book Review: I See You by Clare Mackintosh.

Product details 
Publisher: Sphere.
Hardcover, 368 pages.
Release date: July 28th 2016.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Ages: Adult
Source: Received from publisher for review.

 When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it's there. There's no explanation, no website: just a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it's just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.

Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . .

Her debut novel was a hairpin ride of a thriller that blindsided with its twists and left readers begging for more.  Now, Clare Mackintosh is back: and if you’re a nervous reader who was worried that her second novel wouldn’t live up to the brilliance of  I Let You Go, then put those fears to rest right now. I See You grips from the get go – and it’ll send shivers down your spine right till the very end. 

The very best type of thriller is one that makes a monster out of the everyday; that takes the mundane and renders it horrific. I See You is a book that you’ll read on your daily commute. Or maybe not. Actually, I’d warn against it. But, we’ve all been there, right? The commute is a necessary evil of city life; something that gets you to pillar to post. Beyond that, I’d wager it’s not something anyone spends a whole lot of time thinking about.  We spend our mornings and our evenings in the company of strangers whose gazes we want to avoid, mumbling apologies as trains jerk forward and bodies crush together. These strangers we see day in, day out, knowing nothing about their lives, as they know nothing about ours. But what if that’s not true? What if that stranger on the train knows everything about you: from your exact route to work to your dress size? And what if they want to know more? What if they want to know everything? 

That’s the nightmare scenario facing Zoe Walker, a London commuter who, by chance, sees her picture in the classifieds section of a free newspaper. At first, it looks as though Zoe’s picture is being used as an advert for a dating site. But Zoe’s investigations into the site don’t lead anywhere, and her family are quick to allay her fears, assuring her that the woman in the picture is just someone who bears a slight resemblance to her – not actually her at all.  However, Zoe knows her own face when she sees it, and as she starts checking the classifieds day after day, more adverts are placed for the dating site, each showing a different woman. At first, Zoe is annoyed. Then, she’s frightened. Because this is no ordinary dating site. And soon the women in the photos start turning up dead. Could Zoe be next?

A fantastic idea with expert execution, I See You is another hit from Mackintosh. This is a truly absorbing read and one that will keep you on the edge-of-your-seat as you follow Zoe on her daily life around London, where her very worst nightmare could be just a tube stop away. Just as with I Let You Go, the story of I See You isn’t told at breakneck speed: we get to know a lot about Zoe and her family –she’s a divorcee with two adult children – as well as the cops investigating the case. And soon, everyone – from Zoe’s boss to her daughter’s new boyfriend to random people on the tube- will be on your list of suspects.  That’s part of the fun of this sinister, jigsaw-puzzle tale: with victims seemingly picked at random, the perpetrator could be just about anyone. And you could be next…*Shudders*

In short: A stunning crime thriller with a highly unique premise. I See You is one that you’ll want to read late into the night – but maybe not on your daily commute. 

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