Thursday 24 January 2019

Watching You by Lisa Jewell @lisajewelluk #WatchingYou @najmafinlay @arrowpublishing

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. And you find yourself watching him. All the time.

But you never dreamed that your innocent crush might become a deadly obsession. Or that someone else is watching you.

Family secrets, illicit passion and an unexplained murder. It can only be the gripping new novel from Lisa Jewell, No. 1 bestselling author of Then She Was Gone.

Watching You by Lisa Jewell is published in paperback by Arrow Publishing today 24 January 2019. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

I actually read Watching You back in September, whilst on holiday in Rhodes but have only just managed to get my review posted. Luckily it coincides with paperback publication day.

I do love reading on holiday. There's no reason to stop reading, other than to pour another drink or adjust the sun cream and Watching You is certainly one of those books that are difficult to put down. I noticed a couple of people around the poolside eyeing up my copy (it was a pre-publication proof) and as soon as I finished it, it was snapped up by one of my sun bed neighbours!

Lisa Jewell does not lead her readers in gently. No, this story opens with a hard hitting and intriguing prologue. There's been a murder, there's a body. However, the reader has no idea how the victim is, or why they've been killed. The rest of the story unravels the story, with a large cast of characters and some creepy happenings.

I love the small community setting of Watching You. Melville, just outside Bristol is pitched perfectly with its row of painted houses and the twitching curtains of the neighbours.

Joey has returned to Melville after a stint working in Ibiza. She's returned with a husband; bronzed, beach bum, guitarist Alfie. They married on a beach not long after meeting and Joey is beginning to realise that maybe she jumped in too quickly. Alfie doesn't appear quite so glamorous back in England. They are living with her brother and his pregnant wife in one of the painted houses of Melville that Joey admired so much when she was younger. Also living on the street is Tom Fitzwilliam, headmaster and saviour of the local failing school.

Joey become obsessed with Tom, but hers is not the only obsession in the community. As the author gradually introduces more characters, we find that this is a village of infatuations and misconceptions.

I was absolutely gripped by Watching You. The characters are excellently portrayed, the setting of Melville is deliciously claustrophobic and the murder mystery is cleverly plotted.
This is a rollercoaster ride of a story, with shocks aplenty and twists that make your head swim. There are some dark issues dealt with that create a depth to the story that is incredibly fulfilling.

Watching You is intriguing, compelling and intricate. Highly recommended by me.

LISA JEWELL had always planned to write her first book when she was fifty. In fact she wrote it when she was twenty-seven and had just been made redundant from her job as a secretary. 

Inspired by Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, a book about young people just like her who lived in London, she wrote the first three chapters of what was to become her first novel, Ralph’s Party. It went on to become the bestselling debut novel of 1998. 

Fourteen bestselling novels later, she lives in London with her husband and their two daughters. 

@lisajewelluk on Twitter

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