This is one book that has a menacing edge right from the first to the very last page; a psychological thriller you won’t want to miss!
Heather and Edie were friends as teenagers when despite outwards appearances, the more confident Edie found in Heather someone who understood her. Heather unused to best friends was besotted by her new friend. For Edie having just moved to the area, she found in Heather someone who had an affinity for the things that interested her. After all she too was interested in more than boys and clothes despite appearances to the contrary. Inevitably a boy does come into the equation when Edie meets Connor, and with it comes the expected changes that occur when a girl becomes besotted with a boy.
Right at the beginning of the book we are given a clue that something happened between the two girls, what that was is a mystery, and years later, Edie is terrified that one day Heather will come looking for her. And of course, that day comes, a day when Edie holds her new baby in her arms in her London apartment hears a knock at the door… What the outcome of that visit will be, I could only imagine!
The author has absolutely nailed the plot so that the tension mounts as the story switches not only viewpoints but time periods. We have the ‘before’ as told by Heather and the ‘after’ as described by Edie. With both parts written in the first person present tense both stories are equally enthralling with that ‘peek behind the cushion’ feeling never far away. Camilla Way has got the tone absolutely right, the characters have been given a satisfying mixture of attributes, giving this reader no doubt that they are real, their actions and reactions genuinely authentic. All the clues to the storyline are set out early on, the knock on the door starting a chain of events in the present that moves the plot inexorably onwards. It is a long while since I have had such a feeling of dread each time I turn the page.
I have deliberately curtailed my reading of psychological thrillers having become wary of tales told with obvious devices to move the plot along featuring such damaged characters that you have to wonder how they get dressed in a morning, this isn’t one of those books. The plot is convincing the mounting terror although palpable, feels entirely justified. Often when stories are told in the past and the present, one story feels far more important than the other. Again, Camilla Way has avoided this pitfall; I absolutely needed to know what happened in the past, but equally I was suitably terrified about what the outcome of the storyline in the present would be. It takes a truly accomplished writer to make you care about the characters they have created, especially when you know that they have, or will, commit an act of atrocity, and yet, I did care about both Heather and Edie. I sympathised with their struggles, their perspective on the past casting a long shadow over their present so that the story turned into a bit of a battle between the events I was reading, and a wish that everything had been different for the two young girls who made an unlikely friendship at the very beginning.
With well-drawn, jump off the page characters, Camilla Way has written a book about friendship that will stay with me for quite some time. Watching Edie therefore gets a ringing endorsement from me!
Watching Edie will be published by HarperCollins UK on 28 July 2016. A shorter version of this review was submitted to Lovereading UK in return for them providing a copy of this brilliant psychological thriller for this purpose.