Judith D Collins
Because I'm Watching
By: Christina Dodd
Virtue Falls #3
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 9/6/2016
My Rating: 5 Stars She had survived, but she is still held captive… Of her memories, her loneliness, her delusions. But are they truly delusions? The survivor of a college dorm massacre, a woman accused of her lover’s murder, Madeline Hewitson is haunted by ghosts and tormented by a killer only she can see. At night, she works, writing and drawing the monster that slithers through her imagination, and living in fear of those moments when the doors of her mind unhinge and her nightmare lives in the daylight.
A seasoned military veteran, Jacob Denisov lives alone in his small, darkened home, sleepless, starving, and angry. Every day he lives with the guilt that comes from his own failures and the carnage that followed. When neighbor Madeline Hewitson drives her car through the front wall of his house, she breaks his house—and his life—wide open. Forced to view the world outside, Jacob watches Maddie, recognizes a kindred spirit and wonders what she fears more than herself. Has someone caught her in a twisted labyrinth of revenge and compassion, guilt and redemption, murder and madness?
When Maddie's imaginary killer takes form, she fights back. But will she be strong enough to triumph, or is the killer she fears no more than a shadow, an illusion…that watches?
“Two emotionally damaged characters find hope, self-forgiveness, and love in this exquisitely crafted, modern version of Gaslight that hooks readers and keeps them mesmerized until the end. A chilling and gripping tale, beautifully done.” –Library Journal (starred review)
"Romantic suspense favorite Dodd heads back to Virtue Falls for another smart, dramatic mystery that will keep readers flipping pages until the very end, with unexpected twists, psychological tension, and emotional depth. The traumatic back stories of the main characters set up a trail of believable misdirection and heart-stirring romance, while secondary characters add dimension and continuity to the vivid and entertaining world of this compelling series. Another Virtue Falls winner." ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Scary, sexy, and smartly written, Because I’m Watching is Dodd at the top of her game.” ―Booklist (starred review)
"Readers are in for a real treat...This incredible author offers up many twists and turns which will sound something like an Alfred Hitchcock narrative, as the two main characters are caught up in a world of oddities, creepiness and revenge. This is the third book in the Virtue Falls series and, if possible, the best yet!" ―Suspense Magazine
"Intriguing...An engaging cast of Virtue Falls locals adds depth and multiple subplots." ―Publishers Weekly
“From the opening page, Dodd reels readers into this eerie and darkly suspenseful tale that will remain with them long after they finish the book! A creepy classic.” ―Romantic Times (4.5 star Top Pick review)
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I have loved all the Christina Dodd Virtue Falls' books; however, BECAUSE I'M WATCHING, is my favorite thus far!
Madam Dodd, this indeed is your best yet! No one can do "broken", damaged beyond repair, and put them back together in one sane piece, better! Fans of Sandra Brown, you are going to want to move this to the "top of your list."
Murder. Madness. Redemption Christina Dodd continues the saga with her popular suspense series, Virtue Falls following, Obsession Falls (2015) –with her third installment and best yet: BECAUSE I'M WATCHING (a Grip-lit, page-turner, unputdownable). Maddie Hewitson, age twenty-six-has been time in a mental institution, and she has suffered nightmares about her friends’ massacres and her own mutilation. "After a year in the asylum, her nightmares changed, becoming long green corridors stretching forever and going nowhere. Drugs that affected her too much, kind caregivers who changed into cruel predators who mocked her grief, intensified her fear, administered painful injections that plunged her into a whirlpool of guilt and fear." Maddie had learned one thing during those years of murder and her resulting breakdown: "monsters walked this earth in human form." She is a warrior of the night and she hunts them all. After witnessing deaths in her past, she had not imagined she would ever feel courage again, until Easton came along. He saw past the brave front. He loved her and he had helped her break free of the past. However, in Colorado, even he had been murdered. Her brother Andrew is a famous crime author, residing in Denver. He wants her to move closer to him. The sheriff’s office has been to her home now in Virtue Falls--plenty of times to check for intruders that do not exist. A fine line between PTSD and certifiably crazy. After the investigation of Easton’s death, she fled to Virtue Falls. She had been accused of a crime. She was innocent. Crazy was not a disease. She went to the Loony bin to recover. . Of course her brother could not understand why this town on the edge of nowhere—famous for massive earthquakes and tsunami (documented from previous books) was even worthy of consideration. Veteran Jacob Denisou, age thirty-two had moved to Virtue Falls, Washington. (Now this guy has major issues). Pain slashing at his skull, trying to get out, to explode, to manifest itself in wild screams and violence that never stopped until he broke everything…including himself. He had come here to escape. He had killed people and he needed to kill himself. He was a victim as well. While sitting alone in his dark living room, making plans to kill himself- a gray Subaru Forester crashes into his home. The front of a small SUV sat in his house. If it had come any closer, he would have been dead. His neighbor, Maddie Hewitson. She lived across the street. He did not want to do this. Face people and have to talk. He had come here to hide. To die. He would like to walk down to the end of the street and jump off the cliff. He was full of rage, anguish, and depression. He knew that lack of sleep and street equaled the "crazies." He did not deserve to be healed. Consumed with blame and guilt. People were dead because of him. He lived like a vampire. He meets Dr. Frownfelter, a neighbor and a few others which he feels are an interference. This town seems nosy, interfering and intrusive! There was always some sort of drama going on due to maddening, Maddie living next door. Next, we catch up with Sheriff Kateri Kwinault. A Native American with scars. (we have grown to love in previous books). She was a reminder of who he used to be and what he had become. She had saved men. She had died and was brought back to life. She lived a complex life. Months of surgeries, pain, and rehabilitation. She had secured a job at the local Virtue Falls library and later the job of Sheriff. Is she up for what lies ahead? She is also going through all sorts of new drama and choices to make both (personal and career).
Two mad people, broken souls, haunted, and tormented. What a pair! Jacob had enough problems without Madeline coming in to his life. She makes drawings in ink, black ink, no color. Disturbing drawings of a young woman victimized and in anguish and a monster in black with an open black coat who haunted her, mocked her, and drove her to be a superhero. Was someone trying to keep her off-balanced on purpose? She continues to be caught up in crimes, and her madness and hallucinations are making her second guess her own sanity. How can she prove it? Maddie knew Jacob was responsible for saving lives. North Korean prison. Can these two souls connect? Her brother thinks she has a lot in common with a decorated military hero. They had both suffered pain and trauma. Who is the one really writing the novels? Her brother took over for her, since the media was hounding her after she came out of the institution. They had a workable relationship and she kept quiet. He made the appearances. Jacob Denisov has shut himself away in his Virtue Falls home, waiting for the day he finds the courage to kill himself, until his neighbor drives her car through his house, forcing him into the light and into solving the mystery of "Mad Maddie." Everyone thinks she is crazy and as the tension mounts and the killer closes in, it may be Jacob who is Maddie’s salvation. She in turn, may become his. Movie Worthy (at least an Amazon Series).
A gritty romantic gripping domestic psychological suspense thriller (wow, that was a mouthful). "GasLighting at its finest!"
Dodd turns up the heat, intgrigue, and intensity, with this complex mystery which will have readers glued to the pages! A bit of Desperate Housewives on steroids, with the wacky neighborhood. Fans of Sandra Brown, Tami Hoag, Karen Robards, and Nora Roberts – a given; however, Dodd seems to be crossing over into more psychological domestic crime thrillers, which I LOVE, where fans of Paula Treick Deboard, Heather Gudenkauf, Paula Daly, and Mary Kubica will be drawn to this riveting series. The author, of course is multi-talented -crossing many genres. Writing everything from contemporary, romance, suspense, paranormal, historical, crime, and psychological. I am not particularly a romance fan, or paranormal; however, there are a few select favorite authors, I remain faithful to, crossing genres, -- especially when it comes packaged and driven with "heart-pounding" psychological suspense. I do enjoy a good smart, sexy "tumble in the hay", mixed with a little sweat, plenty of wit, mixed with crazy (Dodd is a pro at Witty, Intense, Suspense. Complex). Readers and fans will also get a bonus with a sneak preview of The Woman Who Couldn’t Scream. Just enough to keep you wanting more! Have read all the books in the series (including the e-short stories) which are great teasers! Highly Recommend. Love Never Dies #2.5 Obsession Falls #2 The Relatives #1.5 Virtue Falls #1 The Listener #.05
Read an Excerpt
A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT
Coming in e-book Oct 18, 2016
From this “master of the genre,” Christina Dodd, comes three suspenseful short stories of this “remarkable, mesmerizing series”(Library Journal starred review) set in the quaint—and deadly—coastal town of Virtue Falls… THE LISTENER: THE RELATIVES: LOVE NEVER DIES: A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT includes previously unpublished extras from the full-length suspense VIRTUE FALLS, the alternate conclusion of acclaimed action-filled adventure OBSESSION FALLS and an excerpt of the newest Virtue Falls thriller, BECAUSE I'M WATCHING. These previously published Virtue Falls short stories are also available for purchase as singles. Pre-Order Now
About the Author
Readers become writers, and Christina Dodd has always been a reader. She reads everything, but because she loves humor, she likes romance best.
A woman wants things like world peace, a clean house, and a deep and meaningful relationship based on mutual understanding and love. A man wants things like a Craftsman router with attachments, undisputed control of the TV remote, and a red Corvette which will miraculously make his bald spot disappear. So when Christina's first daughter was born, she told her husband she was going to quit work and write a book. It was a good time to start a new career, because how much trouble could one little infant be?
Ha! It took ten years, two children and three completed manuscripts before her first novel, CANDLE IN THE WINDOW, was published. In the twenty-three years since, her novels have been translated into 25 languages, won Romance Writers of America's prestigious Golden Heart and RITA Awards and been called the year's best by Library Journal. Christina Dodd herself has been a clue in the Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle (11/18/05, # 13 Down: Romance Novelist named Christina — her mother was very impressed.) With more than 15 million of her books in print, Publishers Weekly praises her style that 'showcases Dodd's easy, addictive charm and steamy storytelling.'
Christina Dodd is married to a man with all his hair and no Corvette, but many Craftsman tools. Read More