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I Am Watching You Paperback – 1 October 2017
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An Amazon Charts bestseller.
What would it take to make you intervene?
When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it―until she realises they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she’s decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls―beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard―has disappeared.
A year later, Anna is still missing. Ella is wracked with guilt over what she failed to do, and she’s not the only one who can’t forget. Someone is sending her threatening letters―letters that make her fear for her life.
Then an anniversary appeal reveals that Anna’s friends and family might have something to hide. Anna’s best friend, Sarah, hasn’t been telling the whole truth about what really happened that night―and her parents have been keeping secrets of their own.
Someone knows where Anna is―and they’re not telling. But they are watching Ella.
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About the Author
For more than twenty-five years as a journalist―including fifteen years as a BBC TV news presenter―Teresa Driscoll followed stories into the shadows of life. Covering crime for so long, she watched and was deeply moved by all the ripples each case caused, and the haunting impact on the families, friends and witnesses involved. It is those ripples that she explores in her darker fiction.
Teresa lives in beautiful Devon with her husband and two sons. She writes women’s fiction as well as thrillers, and her novels have been published in six languages. You can find out more about her books on her website (www.teresadriscoll.com) or by following her on Twitter (@TeresaDriscoll) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/teresadriscollauthor).
- ASIN : 1542046599
- Publisher : Thomas & Mercer (1 October 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 299 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781542046596
- ISBN-13 : 978-1542046596
- Dimensions : 13.97 x 2.54 x 20.96 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 47,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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It begins with an incredible first chapter which says it all "I made a mistake. I know that now. The only reason I did what I did was what I heard on that train. And I ask you, in all truthfulness –how would you have felt?"
Known as 'The Witness' - this chapter is told in Ella's POV which made it feel like a friend in a coffee shop telling the story, it sucked me in...
"And then I am thinking, Report them? Report them to whom, Ella? Will you just listen to yourself? Other people will do precisely what you should have done from the off. They will mind their own."
A teenage girl has disappeared after being harassed by a group of strange men on a train the day before... Ella witnesses and does nothing...
"This screen that is scrolling putrid, awful words: Missing . . . Anna . . . Missing . . . Anna . . . The kettle screaming angry clouds onto the mirror while I am planning the calls in my head all at once. A black and terrible jumble of excuses. None of them good enough. To the police. To Tony. You have to understand that I was going to phone . . ."
You can feel the panic, sense the dread... my stomach dropped as if I'd been on that train and looked away, down... just didn't move....
This is a tense, page-turning thriller. A pacy and emotional plot that is made even more intense by seeing things through the family's POV. This is especially intensified as 'The Father' explains how things disintegrate around this ordinary family when their beloved daughter Anna goes missing, making the entire story quite chilling...
This is such an unexpected yet incredibly intricately woven plot that has an utterly surprising ending that I have no hesitation in recommending 'I Am Watching You' to anyone who enjoys this genre. It is up there with Gone Girl, or The Girl on the Train .. it's that good.
As mentioned, it’s told from multiple POVs, which means the reader gets to know all of the characters and sense their desperation, emotions, fear, internal conflict and heartbreak... and it is that perspective that always heightens the suspense for me, and makes it feel believable...
I really look forward to more from this versatile and talented author. 5 Suspenseful Stars...
I loved the characters and the ‘life’ the author gave them. Teresa has a gift for even bringing the book settings to life. I could smell the cinnamon pancakes baked by one of the characters.
Each chapter held a new twist, and as such, I ploughed through the book in eager anticipation.
I'm not particularly enamoured by first person, present tense writing but it has been so expertly handled that it is of no consequence in this novel. There are several short sentences that are repeated a few times that keep most of the characters as possible suspects. I feel the author most ably presented the emotional turmoil people in similar situations would experience but without laying it on too thickly. Very highly recommended.
Easy to read, fast paced at times and thoughtfully planned, this is a great book for lovers of thrillers that are not over the top with horror and graphics.
I thoroughly enjoyed this read, fast moving, believable characters with plenty of twists and turns.
Teresa Driscoll obviously has a gift for bringing characters to life.
I have to say that each stylised chapter, by character, held a new twist or turn.
In conclusion, a great easy read and I can’t wait for Teresa’s new offering The Friend in March 2018.
Top reviews from other countries
This book sees a 16 year old girl go missing after she travels to London (with her friend) to celebrate the end of her GCSEs. Along the way, it explores what happens to a witness who saw the girls travelling up to London, and the friend who "got cozy with" one of the ex-convicts they met on the train.
It is a bad book.
I've seen the book described elsewhere in reviews as slut shaming one of the girls for "getting cozy with" one of the ex-cons on the train (it's used as an excuse to explain why the witness didn't report the girls or the former prisoners). That wasn't slut shaming, it was more... an examination of a middle classed suburban woman's response to how the "youth of today" behave. To my mind I'm not 100% sure how a female character written by a woman can shame anyone in that way.
One of the issues I have with the book is its presentation of class. It's made clear the girl being judged is a bright, sparky, working class kid. Yet here the poor girl is presented as living on spaghetti hoops and cheese sandwiches when she`s not around her "middle classed friends", and it made me wonder how many council estates Ms Driscoll has been to, and how many working class kids she's met. So that's one problem with the book.
Another problem I have is there isn't much description of the characters. Beyond being typically disorganised 20-somethings, I have no idea what Karl and Anthony (the ex-cons) look like. Seriously, go back and read the book again if you've read it already. THERE ARE NO DESCRIPTIONS.
More generally, people are described through their things (middle classed mums and their Agas, farmers and their quad bikes guns boots and dogs, working class families living on council estates, and eating rubbish). In short they're at best short hand descriptions, and at worst it's stereotypes. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think I am.
The final problem with the book is you have no way to work out who the murderer is. I know sometimes you're think "so he's been introduced here so he's a likely suspect" in other books, but you literally had no way to work out who the culprit was. Maybe it's because it's not written from the point of view of the police, who usually drive whodunits forward, so we don't get to see the clues as they come up, but trust me when I say there are so few clues, you won't be able to solve it on your own.
The sad thing is you won't care either, because you won't be invested in the characters.
The story is not very interesting, and not well written. In fact it would have been better to have been told in one tenth of the pages.
1.) Plot coincidences. All authors do it, but the "luck" in certain people being in certain places made my suspension of disbelief extremely difficult to keep up.
2) Unlikable characters. I've never read a book where I have such distaste for every single character. None are sympathetic. The main character, Ella is a complete wet blanket. The way she molly-coddles her pathetic son is so outside of believable that I wanted to put my foot through my kindle. And the way he mopes around makes you just want to grab him by the scruff of his neck and tell him to take some responsibility for his actions!
3.) Flowers. I don't know where to even start with this. Clearly the author loves flowers. I know this as I've just spent hours reading, in minute detail, about them. This served not purpose to the plot, other than at a forced last paragraph. Cut this out and you have a much leaner book.
It's not all bad. Like I said, I kept with it, and I didn't see the ending coming, but there are just a few too many issues with this to make it anymore than average.