Watching You, Lisa Jewell

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One-Sentence Summary: Neighbours stalking each other in a village but one of them has the dirtiest secret related to another neighbour's painful past.


Joey's brother Jack offers her a place to stay at Melville Heights while she and her newlywed husband Alfie are looking for a place to settle down.

Tom Fitzwilliam lives near their house with a wife and a son. He is fifty-one years old and the headmaster of their local state school. Without Joey's knowledge, she can't stop watching at him in a detailed manner follows along with the uninvited fantasy.

At the same time, Tom's son Freddie is monitoring everyone's daily life from his attic room. His new target is Joey after he saw her at a restaurant when he had dinner with his parents. He has all the gadgets or tools to spy on others in the village. He logged the visitors to the Melville Hotel and even has a secret folder about Joey. Meanwhile, at a different house, Jenna's mother is suspicious with the movement at the Fitzwilliams' upper house. She suspects Tom is the one who has been taking photos up there.

When Joey was in the pub with her boss for a drink, she saw Tom with his friends. They introduced themselves and exchanged a short conversation before they returned to their seat. Later, Joey was heavily drunk, and Tom sent her home. But what Freddie saw from his room seems different than what his father told him the next morning.

At the same time, Jenna's mother keeps monitoring the Fitzwilliams' house. She accused Tom is the main stalker, and the son is taking photos of others for him. She warns Joey to stay away from him else her life will be in destruction as her life.

Jenna's mother remembers Tom when they had a family trip several years ago. Tom's family was on that trip too. And she remembers there was a woman who went to Tom and screamed at him. Meanwhile, Jenna is getting worried about her best friend, Bess, who is so obsessed with Tom. Also, Bess is acting weird recently and seems to have several secret meetings with Tom.

Up to this point, I quite intrigued with the storyline as what people like to say: as the plot thickens. It is getting suspenseful, indeed. Three families are stalking each other and surprisingly, it wasn't complicated to understand when several characters involved in the story at the same time. Although the focus keeps switching to a different family from time to time, however, I don't feel it's hard to follow the progress of the story.

SPOILER WARNING!
  • Tom and Nicola had a mutually abusive relationship. Nicola is more abusive, and Tom is more like a victim of her abuse for fifteen years.
  • Freddie found his mother dead on the kitchen floor. Then, he planted an essential piece of evidence on the crime scene, which leads to Joey as the murderer. He wants to save his father, whom he assumed is the real killer.
  • Jenna's mother took a photo of the back of Mullens' house, showing someone came out from Fitzwilliams' house and walked to the gate on the night of the crime. Although the photo quality is bad, the bright flash point indicating a large button of a coat.
  • The real murderer is Joey's sister-in-law, Rebecca. Rebecca's sister Genevieve Hart committed suicide in 1997 because she had been bullied at school. She left no note and had cut off her hair with a pair of scissors shortly before taking her own life.
  • Genevieve's diary mentioned not only her crush on Tom but also her painful experience from the abusive bullies at her school. The ringleader of the bully is Nikki Lee, who apparently is Nicola Fitzwilliam.
  • The story ends with Freddie wants to understand more about his mother. From his mother's boxes, he found an envelope which contains a bunch of hair.

Rating: ★★★★
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: Watching You by Lisa Jewell.

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