"Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It's not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you. As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all--including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom's teenaged son Freddie--a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5--excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father. One of Tom's students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she's not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna's mother--whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years--is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her. Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam..." --
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Lisa Jewell opens her sixteenth novel actually with the crime scene. You know from the start that somebody has been murdered, but the victim’s identity isn’t given, only one clue to lead you in a certain direction and to keep your attention fixed on one character throughout the novel. I really liked that because the author so cleverly puts you on a track that – even if you are careful and know how crime novels sometimes play with you – you eagerly follow into the trap.
It is not easy to talk about the novel without revealing too much and spoiling the fun for other readers. I especially appreciated the wrong leads, the assumptions you have about what might have happened, who the murderer could be and the reasons for his deed, that all turn out to be completely wrong. The style of writing and the artfully dropped hints keep you read on excited to come to the end and see the full picture. Carefully orchestrated, a brilliant psychological crime novel that could hardly be surpassed.
A murder has taken place. There is a clear suspect based on evidence at the scene. One of the things I loved is the author didn’t use a pronoun so you don’t know if the victim is male or female. Not until near the very end! There are alternating perspectives from several
This touches on so many issues from a school girl crush on a handsome teacher, a newly married couple who are at odds about having a baby, bullying, a mentally ill neighbor which you really feel for and a brilliant teenage boy who is expert at watching people and keeping detailed journals on activities.
As a mystery/ thriller fan and reader I was pleased this wasn’t a slam dunk for me. Was I surprised about the ending? You betcha.
This is the second novel I have read by Lisa Jewell and it’s most certainly not the last. I enjoyed her latest book, The Family Upstairs, and certainly enjoyed this one. Up next for me is Jewell’s novel I Found You.
I definitely recommend this book, especially if you are fans of Lisa Jewell. I didn't hate the book, I just didn't love it as much as her previous books. It started slow for me and eventually picked up speed. I did love the twist and that people aren't always what the seem. The book still contains Lisa Jewell's writing style.
Thanks to NetGalley, Atria Books and the author, Lisa Jewell, for a free electronic ARC of this novel.
Josephine "Joey" Mullen, newly married, has returned from a four year stint working abroad. She has brought her husband, Alfie, home with her. The couple has taken up residence in Joey's brother's spare
When Joey meets the man two doors down, she is smitten. Tom Fitzwilliam, a dashing older man, is the headmaster of a local school. Joey's innocent crush soon turns to a dangerous obsession. And now instead of Joey watching Tom, someone is watching her, and then things turn deadly.
I have reviewed Then She Was Gone and The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell and was thrilled to receive an ARC of Watching You. This book was absolutely captivating right out of the gate and I couldn't read it fast enough.
The story opens with a murder scene and completely grabs the reader and doesn't let go until the final twist. The reader is left guessing who the dead body is, who the killer is, and what their motivation was. Executed through multiple points of view and police reports, Jewell gives just enough away and paces the novel perfectly.
Jewell's character development is incredible. She deftly handles a large cast and this is where she excels—all of the characters are key to the story. They are rich in detail, motivation, and flawed. Her writing is clever, tense, and riveting. Chock-full of family secrets, passion, obsessions, and misconceptions, this is Jewell at her finest and I highly recommend this book.
It's told from three POVs,
As Joey, Jenna, and Freddy navigate changes in their lives things slowly start to unravel as past secrets revolving around Tom come to light. This is where Jewell's writing really shines. She throws in small details and some red herrings that you don't think much of until the climax when someone in their community is murdered. A few more twists happen before we discover the truth behind the murder and the past. It is a satisfying end that made the earlier lack of suspense worth it.
I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.
In fact for the first half of this book I felt that most keenly. Was tempted to put this aside, but as a sister read, plus I trust this author, I continued. She is in my handful of psychological thrillers writers that I will continue to read. Sure enough, certain things come to light, a few people let down their guard and just like that, she sold me, a few characters became not only likable but their action when seen under a new light, understandable. This is still a dark, twisty read, but also a good look at bullying and it's aftereffects. The damage is causes in the present and the future.
So, a good message, seamlessly woven with a suspenseful read. Who is watching you?
ARC from Edelweiss.
To the outside world he is a handsome, popular, successful man, but is he really all that?
Strange things always happen in the neighborhoods where Tom lives, and Melville Heights is no exception.
There is spying in the neighborhood by his son,
Could Mrs. Tripp be right about Tom and everyone else wrong thinking he is perfect? She doesn't give up.
Tom’s son, Freddie, is definitely odd and frightening.
There are other characters that play some major roles such as Joey who is a suspect in a murder investigation that occurred in the neighborhood and who has a crush on Tom Fitzwilliam.
WATCHING YOU is definitely a study in human nature with nosy neighbors being the focus. It seemed that everyone was spying on someone with Freddie being the major one.
As the book continues, the mystery about who Tom really is and who the murdered person is at the beginning of the book are slowly revealed.
WATCHING YOU has a lot of unlikable and odd characters, but that is what made it good and typical Lisa Jewell.
I was asking myself just who is anyone in this twisty, strange, but excellent thriller that had me wondering about all of the characters and what was happening.
If you enjoy Lisa Jewell’s books, you won’t want to miss reading WATCHING YOU.
The ending revelations are GREAT!! 4/5
This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Melville Heights is a well to do neighbourhood in Bristol, England. But there are always secrets behind closed doors aren't there? And there most definitely are some in Melville Heights...
The local headmaster Tom
Oh, Lisa Jewell puts a wonderful spin on the concept of Neighborhood Watch! We know there's a crime from the opening prologue. Jewell then takes us back to before the crime. Watching You is told from various viewpoints - mostly Joey, Jenna and Freddie. Despite his watching being the 'creepiest' - I enjoyed Freddie's observations the most. His outlook isn't predatory, but is instead driven by his desire to join MI5.
Jewell manipulates the reader's expectations, giving us lots of reasons to think one way, while all the while laying the groundwork for an unexpected (and clever) finale. Well played Lisa Jewell!
I chose to listen to Watching You. Gabrielle Glaister was the reader and she did a fantastic job. Her voice is expressive and changed to reflect who was speaking. Her accent suited the book and was very easy to understand. Her tone is lower and is pleasing to listen to. She was a new-to-me narrator that I would listen to again.
Watching You was an excellent listen. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I always feel immersed in a story when I listen. Five stars for Watching You.
Remember to pull your shades and lock your doors- you never know who might be watching!
Lisa Jewell’s latest thriller examines the secrets and obsessions of a seeming idyllic neighborhood. Melville Heights, an upscale neighborhood,
However, while the neighborhood’s exterior is charming and enviable, if you pay close attention, you will see another side to Melville Heights. You may notice some residents have strange habits, some behave badly, are masking dark obsessions, or hiding painful secrets, and some … like to watch…
After Joey’s mother dies, she has a knee-jerk reaction, quickly tying the knot with an affable, but not overly ambitious man. Joey and her new husband move in with her overachieving, but sweet, brother and his pregnant wife, who happen to live in Melville Heights, in one of the ‘painted houses’ she was always so fascinated by.
Joey soon develops a crush on her neighbor, the headmaster of the local school, named Tom Fitzwilliam. Tom appears to be happily married, with a teenaged son, named Freddie. The community heaps high praise on Tom and the great job he is doing as headmaster. However, Freddie, unbeknownst to his parents, and most everyone else, is an accomplished little neighborhood spy. His observations reveal a host of little intricate insights into the lives of his fellow Melville Heights residents- and about his own father. But he may not be the only one keeping an eye on things. The question is whether or not these ‘watchers’ are drawing the right conclusions based on what they have witnessed.
It seems that no two Lisa Jewell novels are exactly the same, but that’s a good thing, in my opinion. This one was not exactly what I was expecting after ‘An Then She Was Gone’. The atmosphere in here is dark, but mildly quirky, as well. It’s creepy, and of the implications about the characters made me squirm a little. While the cast is moderately large, the author did a great job of minimizing the chore of keeping up with all of them individually. Jewell, adeptly withholds key information from readers, keeping them completely in the dark, until just the right moment. Then Jewell lowers the hammer….
Boom! Very clever indeed!
I’m glad to see this author exercising her writing prowess, as her novels always surprise me. Smart move on her part, too, since it keeps readers on their toes and will hopefully prevent preconceived notions or expectations regarding format, formula or style. But no matter what, her books always manage to draw me in. I can’t wait to see what she pulls out of the hat next!!
I enjoyed this character driven psychological thriller. It was a quick, fun and fast-paced story. The story starts with a bang, a murder scene and then we weave through the lives of the characters until we find out who the murderer is. I enjoyed this plot, and loved how all of these characters in the neighborhood are linked together with invisible, twisty, threads. It's a slow build with just the exact amount of mystery to keep you turning the pages. I thought I had it all figured out based on the clever hints and clues dropped throughout the book and I was partially correct, but oh that final twist, I did not see that coming. Unfortunately, I have one niggle and that is the epilogue. It ties up all the loose ends in a "nice" way that I just didn't think was necessary. It felt very rushed to me. If it wasn't for that, this would have been a 5 star read for me. Every Lisa Jewell book I read, cements her higher on my list of favourite authors. The publisher, Atria Books, generously provided me with a copy of this book to read upon my request. The rating, opinions and ideas are my own.
What it's all about...
Tom Fitzwilliam...master teacher, enigmatic friend, weird husband, weird father...who is this guy? He seems to seek out pretty naive young girls as well as pretty girls in their 20’s. But Jenna is suspicious...especially when she sees Mr. Fitzwilliam
Why I wanted to read it...
I read everything that Lisa Jewell writes. She is that good and one of my favorite authors.
What made me truly enjoy this book...
This mystery seemed to unfold on almost every page. I have to say that as much as I love Lisa Jewell this book was different...confusing...a bit odd. It begins with a mystery that leads us to the eventual ending of the mystery...where the mystery is finally explained...thank goodness.
What sort of bothered me about this book...
All paths led to Tom Fitzwilliam. Even when some of them shouldn’t.
Why you should read it, too...
Readers who enjoy a well written exquisitely plotted story...should enjoy this book.
I received an advance reader’s copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley and Amazon. It was my choice to read it and review it.
I figured out the mystery about a third of the way through, which usually is disappointing for me. I didn't see the "twist" at the end, but I also felt it was kind of unnecessary. Everything was wrapped up at that point, and it just made me dislike certain characters more.
Overall there is suspense, but the whole story was just not for me. 2.5 stars rounded up.
Thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for an Advanced Review Copy of this book.
But I should have known better. Yes, it does involve a handsome, charismatic male teacher. And, yes, there is the suspicion that he preys upon young girls. But this is a murder mystery, a who-done-it.
The story begins before the text begins, with a picture of an actual diary entry of a student who states she is in love with her teacher. Then the text begins with a murder investigation on March 24 and interviews with various suspects/witnesses on March 25. But most of the book is flashback beginning in January.
The flashbacks continue moving forward to March 25. Who had reason to commit the murder? Lots of people. So who did it? It’s possible that you’ll guess it before the end but not likely.
Two of the suspects/witnesses are a crazy lady and a lonely boy, who watched the neighbors the whole time. Thus the comparisons to “Rear Window” (although I would compare it to THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW.) And thus the title.
As far as story goes, Jewell doesn't pussyfoot around. We start with a body and a date, March 25, and then she takes us back to January and does a great job of introducing a cast of different genders, ages, stations in life and moving them forward into March. I didn't spend to much time trying to figure out whodunit, which later surprised me when I realized perhaps that wasn't even the right question! Instead, I allowed myself to be seduced by the characters and mood, and I found the twists to be intriguing without being too outlandish.
Watching You by Lisa Jewell is a really good story set up the way a story like this should be with lots of very plausible suspects.
I did however feel she gave too many clues too early in the book, regarding what was likely going to be the outcome.
Still this would be a good beach read this summer.