Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

Watching You – Lisa Jewell

Psychological Thriller
5*s

Lisa Jewell just goes from strength to strength as she serves up different scenarios with a whole cast of different characters in this her sixteenth novel and I for one was hooked from page one, where there is out and out darkness in the form of a body on a kitchen floor. The police are in attendance and an investigation is opened.

First of all the author paints us a picture of perfection, a group of colourful houses perched on a hill, the type of house that Joey (Josephine) has always wanted to live in but that seemed unlikely after four years working in Ibiza, and now she’s home with her new husband Alfie in tow. Fortunately her older brother Jack and his pregnant wife Rebecca live in the cobalt coloured house in Melville Heights and her and Alfie had moved in while they sorted out where there life was going next.

Lisa Jewell’s latter books have all had some level of darkness about them but this one hurtles headlong into the undeniable thriller territory. After listening to Joey describing her life to her mum at her grave, we are launched into a transcript of a police interview held at Bristol police station nearly three months past this point. A word of warning, keep your eye on the changing dates, which are easily signposted, because this book does hop backwards and forwards until the past catches up with the present.

There are as in many of this author’s books a number of issues which are sensitively portrayed but with realism at its core rather than the reader getting the feeling that they’ve been used to bolster an otherwise flabby storyline.

At the centre of this book is Tom Fitzwilliam, the head of the local school who is married to Nicola. They also live at Melville heights with their teenage son, Freddie. Joey quickly becomes infatuated with Tom and is watching him. Tom’s son Freddie was documenting the neighbourhood using his digital binoculars but more recently has been using his spy equipment to watch the teenage girls in the vicinity while down in Lower Melville Frances Tripp is convinced that there is a mass of people watching her, so she is watching everyone else.

You might be able to tell from that very short synopsis, apart from a lot of watching, there are lots of characters in this book. And what characters they are, even the teenage girls are kept distinct by Lisa Jewell’s keen eye (and pen) for the little things that make each person unique.
In short I found this latest novel absolutely gripping. I wanted to know who had been murdered, who would want to murder but most of all I wanted to truly understand this eclectic bunch of people who became my neighbours for the duration of the book. Of course it wasn’t that simple with impeccable timing we are drip-fed pieces of information, some of which are red-herrings, so that my opinion on the characters altered the more I learned about them all.

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again here, if you haven’t read one of Lisa Jewell’s books you really should, she has a very easy to read style but that isn’t to say that they are superficial, in fact they are anything but!

I’d like to thank the publisher Random House UK for allowing me to read a copy of Watching You and thank you to Lisa Jewell for such a gripping read.

First Published UK: 12 July 2018
Publisher: Random House UK
No of Pages: 496
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Lisa Jewell Novels

Then She Was Gone (2017)
I Found You (2016)
The Girls (2015)
The Third Wife (2014)
The House We Grew Up In (2013)
Before I Met You (2012)
The Making Of Us (2011)
• After The Party (2010)
The Truth About Melody Browne (2009)
• 31 Dream Street (2007)
• Vince and Joy (2005)
• A Friend of the Family (2004)
• One Hit Wonder (2001)
• Thirtynothing (2000)
• Ralph’s Party (1999)

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (June 27)

This Week In Books
Hosted by Lipsy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

My current read is Take Me In by Sabine Durrant which is published tomorrow, 28 June 2018.

Blurb

A hot beach. A young family on holiday. A fatal moment of inattention…
And now Dave Jepsom is in their lives.
Dave Jepsom, with his muscles, his pale eyes, his expressionless face.
He saved their child. How can they ever repay him? Especially as what he seems to want in return is everything.
He’s in the streets they walk down. He’s at the office where they work. He’s at their front door, leaning on the bell…
If only they could go back. Back to when the lies were still hidden. Before the holiday, before the beach, before the moment that changed everything.

Before Dave. Amazon

The last book I finished was a review copy of Lisa Jewell’s Watching You which is due to be published on 12 July 2018. My review will be posted closer to this date but as always Lisa Jewell has come up with the perfect recipe for a thrilling read.

Blurb

You’re not the only one watching.

You’re back home after four years working abroad, new husband in tow.
You’re keen to find a place of your own. But for now you’re crashing in your big brother’s spare room.
That’s when you meet the man next door.
He’s the head teacher at the local school. Twice your age. Extraordinarily attractive. You find yourself watching him.
All the time.
But you never dreamed that your innocent crush might become a deadly obsession.

Or that someone is watching you. Amazon

Next up is one of my 20 Books of Summer choices, American Heiress: The Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin.



Blurb

Domestic terrorism. Financial uncertainty. Troops abroad, fighting an unsuccessful and bloody war against guerrilla insurgents. A violent generation gap emerging between a discontented youth and their disapproving, angry elders.

This was the early seventies in America, and it was against this backdrop that the kidnapping of nineteen-year-old Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Front – a rag-tag, cult-like group of political extremists and criminals – stole headlines across the world. Using new research and drawing on the formidable abilities that made The Run of His Life a global bestseller, Jeffrey Toobin uncovers the story of the kidnapping and its aftermath in vivid prose and forensic detail. Amazon

What do you think? Do any of these take your fancy?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (May 20)

I do hope you have all had a great week full of sunshine and books. After conquering the ability to listen to audio books my journey home from work has been accompanied by a podcast (how on trend am I?) via Audible. West Cork is fascinating and so well produced and narrated by Sam Bungey and Jennifer Forde, with the soundtrack summoning up the winds and feeling of remoteness of the scene of the crime. The investigators successfully compressing over twenty years of information into a coherent narrative yet never forgetting that there was a victim, and her family, at the heart of the tragedy.

About

This much we do know: Sophie Toscan du Plantier was murdered days before Christmas in 1996, her broken body discovered at the edge of her property near the town of Schull in West Cork, Ireland. The rest remains a mystery.
Gripping, yet ever elusive, join the real-life hunt for answers in the year’s first not-to-be-missed, true-crime series. Investigative journalist Sam Bungey and documentarian Jennifer Forde guide listeners through the brutal, unsolved murder and the tangled web of its investigation, while introducing an intricate cast of characters, a provocative prime suspect, and a recovering community whose story begs to be heard. Audible Original

This Week on the Blog

It’s been a week of five star reviews this week starting on Monday with my spot on the blog tour for The Dissent of Annie Lang by Ros Franey, set in the midlands during the 1930s this book really got under my skin.

My excerpt post came from The Portrait of a Murderer by Anne Meredith one of the books in the British Library Crime Classic series which I intend to read very soon.

This Week in Books featured the authors Martin EdwardsMarie Belloc Lowndes and Peter James.

My second review of the week was for the latest in the Roy Grace series, Dead If You Don’t by Peter James an action packed police procedural that was awarded the full five stars.

This was followed up by another five star review, this time for Isabelle Grey’s latest book featuring DI Grace Fisher; Wrong Way Home.

I rounded the week off with the tag My Name in TBR Books a bit of fun but also a way for you to help me prioritise the best of these books.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading In Deep Water by Sam Blake, the second book in this crime fiction series featuring Cathy Connolly. The story around a journalist warned off covering a story because it is simply too dangerous then turns into  a missing persons crime. This is a superbly well-researched novel, a proper police procedural with the aspects of the investigation qualified with plenty of explanations which only rarely impinged on the flow of the storyline as the story gets darker, and darker.

You can read my full review here or click on the book cover.



Blurb

Good intentions can be deadly . . .

Cat Connolly is back at work after the explosion that left her on life support. Struggling to adjust to the physical and mental scars, her work once again becomes personal when her best friend Sarah Jane Hansen, daughter of a Pulitzer-winning American war correspondent, goes missing.

Sarah Jane is a journalism student who was allegedly working on a story that even her father thought was too dangerous.

With Sarah Jane’s father uncontactable, Cat struggles to find a connection between Sarah Jane’s work and her disappearance. But Sarah Jane is not the only one in deep water when Cat comes face to face with a professional killer . . . Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

I have been approved to read a few new titles this week starting with Lisa Jewell‘s latest novel Watching You which will be published on 12 July 2018.

Blurb

You’re back home after four years working abroad, new husband in tow.

You’re keen to find a place of your own. But for now you’re crashing in your big brother’s spare room.
That’s when you meet the man next door.

He’s the head teacher at the local school. Twice your age. Extraordinarily attractive. You find yourself watching him.

All the time.

But you never dreamed that your innocent crush might become a deadly obsession.

Or that someone is watching you. NetGalley

I also have a bit of historical fiction with Summer of Secrets by Nikola Scott at the moment sporting a plain jacket until closer to publication in early September 2018



Blurb

August 1939. At peaceful Summerhill, orphaned Maddy hides from the world and the rumours of war. Then her adored sister Georgina returns from a long trip with a new friend, the handsome Victor. Maddy fears that Victor is not all he seems, but she has no idea just what kind of danger has come into their lives…

Today. Chloe is newly pregnant. This should be a joyful time, but she is fearful for the future, despite her husband’s devotion. When chance takes her to Summerhill, she’s drawn into the mystery of what happened there decades before. And the past reaches out to touch her in ways that could change everything… NetGalley

My new acquisitions are rounded off with a copy of The Love Letter by Lucinda Riley which was originally published under the title Seeing Double author, Lucinda Edmonds back in 2000 but has been repackaged in the wake of this author’s rising star.

Blurb

Joanna Haslam, bright young investigative journalist, covers the funeral of a great actor, the greatest of his generation. It seems like a straight story, but a chance encounter at the service leads her into a dramatic chain of discoveries that will force her to abandon the man she loves and uncover a ruthlessly guarded secret that threatens to bring down the very highest in the land.

Lucinda Edmonds’ latest, most searing novel weaves sharply through forbidden domains of British society, culminating in a compelling revelation. Amazon

tbr-watch

Since my last post I have read 2 books and I have gained 3 the TBR has risen by one to 179
Physical Books – 112
Kindle Books – 48
NetGalley Books –18
Audio Books –1

I haven’t reviewed any of my own books this week so I’m still 1 2/3 of a book in credit!