Sunday, December 1, 2019

Solid, Suspenseful Thriller: Watching You

Watching You: A Novel by [Jewell, Lisa]
I have a few of Lisa Jewell's books on my to-read list, but I picked up Watching You first. I'm glad to say that those other books will stay on my to-read list, because this title was very good and left me wanting more from this author.

This book reminded me of some of my recent British TV faves, like Broadchurch and Marcella. The characters are a small, tight-knit community where everyone knows everyone else, and there were plenty of interesting character flaws to keep me invested as the narrative moved (sometimes rather quickly) from one point-of-view to the next. It was a bit jarring at the very beginning, but the book fell into a groove where I was never disappointed to flip from one POV to another, and it kept me interested in all the different perspectives. Most successfully, all the perspectives came together as one of the main characters, Joey, obsesses over the charming local teacher Tom Fitzwilliam, just as the skeletons in his closet come creeping to the fore. You really got the sense of the deep dark undertones of the whole town, and nobody's hands are perfectly clean. I liked that. A lot. I also liked that the characters spanned the adults and their teenage children, and past actions as well as present ones, so you get a holistic picture of the town and how parents' behaviors have a profound impact on how these children navigate their own worlds and their adolescence. It's a lot of stuff to balance, but Jewell was a master juggler here, and that is hard to find.

K Rating: 5/5

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