It's no secret that I love mystery and thriller novels. When asked for recommendations at the library, Michael Robotham is an author I often suggest. This Aussie author is one you definitely want to put on your must read list. His latest North American release is Watching You - and it'll have you sitting up late reading just one more chapter - and drawing the curtains. This is the seventh book featuring recurring character Joe O'Loughlin - a clinical psychologist.
Marnie Logan is struggling - her husband has disappeared, she has inherited his massive gambling debts and has two children to look after. She's at her wit's end, but things are about to get even worse.
"I am the most important figure in Marnie's life, but she doesn't know it yet. I am the half-figure at the edge of her photographs and the shadow in the corner of her eye that vanishes each time she turns her head. I am the ghost that dances behind her closed lids and the darkness that blinks when she blinks. I am her nameless champion, her unheralded hero, and the conductor of her symphony. I am the one who watches."
Creepy, creepy, creepy.
I started out feeling sorry for Marnie, then frightened for her, then...... well, Robotham is a master manipulator. Just when I thought I had the story figured out, he surprised me. In the acknowledgments at the end of the book he says..."Each time I finish a novel I think, that's it - I'm all out of ideas, characters, plot twists and one-liners." Sometimes I think along the same lines - that I've read so many thrillers, that I'll be able to figure things out long before the last page. Definitely, not the case with Watching You. The plotting was deliciously clever, was completely unpredictable and turned ever assumption I had made upside down. The ending is a nice little gotcha too.
Robotham also brings back retired police Detective Vincent Ruiz. He and O'Louglin are a favourite duo, each bringing a different outlook on the crimes and criminals they pursue.
The story is told from many narratives, each giving a different look at what is going on. But the most chilling is that of the watcher. What could be more frightening than someone watching you - and you're unaware of it? Robotham takes this frightening premise to a whole new level. And kinda makes you wonder who's watching you - that person on the bus, the car at the stoplight....?
Watching You is a five star absolutely recommended read for thriller fans. If you read Linwood Barclay and Harlan Coben, you'll like Robotham. Read an excerpt of Watching You.
You can find Michael Robotham on Facebook and on Twitter.