Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Watching You by Lisa Jewel (no Spoilers)

Lisa Jewel's 2018 Watching You is a fantastic murder mystery in a small British town.  The narrative

alternates between short police interviews that take place a short time in the future and the actual story as it plays out.  It's a bit difficult to describe without giving the whole plot away, but I will say that there was a kind of "twist" that truly surprised me and a zinger in the last sentence that was a real stunner!  It's kind of fun to get to literally the last sentence and...

The school head (I think like the principle?), Tom Fitzwilliam, as charmed almost every woman and girl in town, but occasionally he'll creep out the ladies with a "wolfish" glance that hints at some nefarious interiority.  Tom's son sits in his bedroom window spying on the neighbors and teenage girls, photographing everyone and tracking their movements in a notebook.  Neighbor Joey has a hot, cuddly husband but also a crush on Tom.

It's sort of the perfect mystery novel - keeps you guessing, easy to keep track of the characters - a very clever twist that had me flipping back to the beginning of the book the moment I collected myself at the end!  Highly recommend!

Nota Bene:  I've also read her The Girls in the Garden - and at least based on these two books, Jewel doesn't seem to obsess on the details of the destroyed female body for her novels, which all-too-many people do.  I appreciate not having to wade through what feels like obsessive, masturbatory glee in the violence acted upon women.  She's not ignoring violence against women, just not resorting to the objectification of women that you often find in mystery novels.

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