I See You, Clare Mackintosh

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The narrator begins her story with the usual scenes that she sees every morning when she goes to work. The train is flooded with people that are rushing to work. She picks up a copy of the London Gazette dated Friday 13 November at the rack by the ticket machine. She flips through the pages but nothing much in the newspaper which captures her attention until she sees an ad of a person who is looking for love. Although the photo is in grainy quality, she still able to recognise that the picture is her.

The story shifted to Kelly Swift who is on her way home by train. She is hungry and tired. She hopes she can reach home by eight or eight-thirty and there is a leftover food by her housemate. When the train pulls to Liverpool Street, she recognises Carl in the centre of the crowd. Despite the desperation of going home and feeling hungry, she can't let go this opportunity to chase after Carl. Carl tries to knock her off balance, but she caught him, and she snaps her cuff on his wrists.

In a separate inner monologue, a stalker tells the details of the girl that he follows to the train. He uses his phone to take a photo of her without her knowledge. He is even able to move closer to her to read the content of the book that she is reading.

Meanwhile, the narrator stops at Crystal Palace station and still staring at the advert in a disbelieving manner. She couldn't understand how a middle-aged woman with two grown children like her will be targeted for the advert. She drops by at one of Melissa's cafe to grab a takeaway and also to go home together with her son who works temporarily there. When they reached home, the family sees the advert on her newspaper, and Simon tries to dial the number, but it doesn't go through. They assume it's a joke or probably someone else who looks like her.

The narrator or Zoe continued her day as usual and forgotten about the advert. One day, while she is cleaning her boss's desk, she flips through the London Gazette which dated several days previously and found the lady who appears in the advert is someone that she has seen before. She immediately makes a phone call and tells Kelly that her theft victim, Cathy Tanning's photo appears in the classified section of the London Gazette, right before her keys were stolen. Zoe's photo appears after several days. Although Kelly has transferred to a different department, she promised Zoe that she will look into it.

Kelly tries to get some details from Cathy about the photo in the classified. Cathy confirms the photo is her, but she never places an advert for any dating or escort service. At the same time, Cathy tells Kelly that she suspects someone had accessed to her house when she was at work. She also smelt aftershave in the hall, and some of her underwear seems missing.

After a few days, there is news about a murdered female victim appears on TV. Zoe is shocked when she sees the photo of the woman is the same woman who appeared from yesterday's advert.

In the beginning, I didn't have any opinions about the characters, and I felt the story is just mediocre to me. Probably I've read too much of heavy thriller all these while. Anyway, when it reaches the suspicion for the people around the main character, I started to have a strong dislike towards the main character, Zoe. I can understand her anxiety of being stalked, but she tends to always jump into conclusion of suspecting people that she doesn't like. She is often targeting on her daughter's boyfriend, Isaac. First time can be treated as a misunderstanding but it happened several times, and it's just because she doesn't like her daughter dating with him. The worst thing is she suspects her own son, Justin rather than her own boyfriend. What kind of mom is that?!! While she is ransacking her son's bedroom, she tells her daughter that her boyfriend, Simon loves her and he won't do anything to hurt her. For the first time, I agreed with the daughter saying that it needs to be fair that Simon's room needs to be searched as well if Isaac and Justin are in the suspect list. While they are searching Justin's bedroom without his permission, Zoe reluctantly agrees to search Simon's room and want to wait for him to return home before they do so. If she searches Simon's room and if she's wrong, she feels he won't trust her anymore. What on earth that character was thinking?!! At this point, I really wish Simon is the stalker.

Rating: ★★★
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: I See You.

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