February 19, 2017

Review: I See You by Clare Mackintosh

I See You
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Publisher: Berkley


Every morning and evening, Zoe Walker takes the same route to the train station, waits at a certain place on the platform, finds her favorite spot in the car, never suspecting that someone is watching her...

It all starts with a classified ad. During her commute home one night, while glancing through her local paper, Zoe sees her own face staring back at her; a grainy photo along with a phone number and a listing for a website called FindTheOne.com.

Other women begin appearing in the same ad, a different one every day, and Zoe realizes they’ve become the victims of increasingly violent crimes—including murder. With the help of a determined cop, she uncovers the ad’s twisted purpose...A discovery that turns her paranoia into full-blown panic. Zoe is sure that someone close to her has set her up as the next target.

And now that man on the train—the one smiling at Zoe from across the car—could be more than just a friendly stranger. He could be someone who has deliberately chosen her and is ready to make his next move…


Wow! This is one of the best thrillers I've read in quite awhile. Thrillers are actually one of my favorite genres, so I read them pretty often. Sadly, it takes a really good plot to stump me anymore - and most don't do the job. This novel had me guessing until the very end and was full of twists and turns I didn't see coming a mile away. I ended up reading the entire book straight through in a few hours. The writing was incredibly well done and had me hooked right from the very beginning. Like I mentioned, the twists were very intricate and I was completely taken by surprise several times. I always try to figure everything out before the characters do, but every time I had a theory - there would be a plot twist and it all would come crashing down, and I had to start over from square one. Not that I minded! The author did a wonderful job creating a really creepy vibe. The story line was intense and realistic - which made it all the more suspenseful. These things could actually happen to someone, and that in itself added a whole level of terror. I can't go into the plot very much without spoilers - and I definitely don't want to do that. All I can say is that it was incredibly taut and well constructed, and even the most seasoned thriller fan will be turning pages as fast as they can.

One huge aspect of the book for me was the writing style. This is always a really big deal in my opinion, and the wrong point of view can make it or break it. The author used a myriad of styles blended together to create a unique voice. There are three characters' perspectives being told throughout the book. There's the main character, Zoe, who's part of the story is told from the first person POV. Secondly, there's the police officer who's helping Zoe. Her part is told from the third person POV. Last, there's a bit from the villain's perspective - which is told from the first person POV as well. Normally I don't like the third person POV because it seems cold and detached most of the time, but in this case, I understand why the author chose this style - and it makes complete sense to me. Having multiple first person narratives in one book is just asking for confusion - and that would take a lot away from the plot itself. The way the author integrates the multiple perspectives and has them weave together to form one story was fantastic. I don't think many writers would be able to pull this technique off - but this was done with perfect attention to detail and made the story all the more intriguing to me. All of the characters were rounded - especially Zoe and Kelly (the police officer), who are the main narrators. I enjoyed getting to know each of them and then watch them work together to figure out the sick game that was being played. I also really loved the addition of the villain's perspective - it added a real chill to the novel that wouldn't have been there otherwise. I highly recommend this book to fans of thrillers, mysteries, suspense, and contemporary fiction along with readers looking to lose themselves in a tightly woven story.
Clare Mackintosh spent twelve years in the police force, including time on CID, and as a public order commander. She left the police in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist and social media consultant and is the founder of the Chipping Norton Literary Festival. She now writes full time and lives in the Cotswolds with her husband and their three children.

Clare's debut novel, I Let You Go, is a Sunday Times bestseller and was the fastest-selling title by a new crime writer in 2015. It was selected for both the Richard and Judy Book Club, and was the winning title of the readers' vote for the summer 2015 selection, and ITV's Loose Women's Loose Books. Her second novel, I See You, is a number 1 Sunday Times bestseller. Clare's books are translated into more than 30 languages.

Clare is the patron of the Silver Star Society, an Oxford-based charity which supports the work carried out in the John Radcliffe Hospital's Silver Star unit, providing special care for mothers with medical complications during pregnancy. (Photo & bio taken from Goodreads)

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