Judith D Collins
I See You
By: Clare Mackintosh
Publication Date: 2/21/2017
My Rating: 4 Stars 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 rape and 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. For now Zoe is sure that someone close to 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 listing for a website called findtheone.com. 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... The author of the smash bestseller, I Let You Go, propels readers into a dark and claustrophobic thriller, in which a normal, everyday woman becomes trapped in the confines of her normal, everyday world... 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…
A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Clare Mackintosh returns following her smashing debut and international bestseller, (2016) I Let You Go, landing on my Top 50 Books of 2016, with a strong followup. A clever, gritty, dark and twisty psychological thriller, I SEE YOU.
Someone is watching when you least expect. FindTheOne.com is more than a dating site. An online matchmaking service for more than dating. Find the victim, and go for the kill.
A commute to work. A dreaded task. The Tube. However, someone has hacked into the system and they are watching the daily routines of women. A devious dangerous plan. Cyber Crime, coffee shops, CCTV, money laundering, greed, stalking, adverts, a killer, FindTheOne.com, an ax to grind, payback, and murder. Trust no one.
Middle-class Zoe Walker, a mother of two teens (Katie and Justin) -divorced, and dating a guy named Simon- must take the train to work. The only jobs worth taking were in zone one; the only affordable mortgages in zone four. She could only dream of working close enough to her home to walk.
On her morning commute she is shocked to discover in the London Gazette a photo of herself in the personal ads. FindtheOne.com. What the heck? She is looking at herself. A forty-year-old woman. The woman in the advert is none other than herself. Soon other women’s photos appear, and they end in a crime.
We also are introduced to Kelly Swift, the detective who has been disgraced and back on the scene with the latest murders. Her departure four years earlier from British Transport Police’s Sexual offenses Unit had been rapid and uncomfortable. She had spent nine months off sick returning to what had been presented to her as a clean slate but was really a punishment posting.
She had thrown herself into her shift work, quickly becoming one of the most respected officers on the Neighborhood Policing Team, pretending to herself she was a uniform cop through and through when every day she yearned to be dealing with serious investigations again. Will she lose control again?
The Underground Crime soars with the investigation into crime on public transport after record increases in reported sexual offenses, violent assaults, and thefts. Terrifying enough to make you stop using the Tube altogether. Kelly is back on the case full force.
With sprinkles of spine-chilling words in italics, from the mystery person throughout the novel (the best parts). Told from three POV: Zoe, the mom; Kelly the determined police officer, and the creepy mystery person.
“I see you. But you don’t see me. You’re engrossed in your book; a paperback cover with a girl in a red dress. I can’t see the title but it doesn’t matter; they’re all the same. If it isn’t boy meets girl, it’s boy stalks girl. Boy kills the girl. The irony isn’t lost on me . . . You’re still reading. And I’m still watching.”
Zoe is worried for all the women and girls out there as well as her daughter and herself. She feels the danger. She cannot see it, but she can feel it. She knows it is getting close.
“Routine is comforting to you. It’s familiar, reassuring. Routine makes you feel safe. Routine will kill you.”
"You never know where you might meet The One. A way of introductions between London’s commuters on FindTheOne.com. A matchmaker. A broker. A go-between. To give coincidence a head start. . ."
Soon the adverts are all-consuming for Zoe, and Kelly is determined to find the killer. They work together and believe the adverts are at the heart of the series of crime against women. What is the motive and who is stalking and preparing information on each woman? Who are the buyers/subscribers? These customers come from all walks of life.
Who are these men?
“They’re your friends. Father. Brother. Best Friend. Neighbor. Boss. The people you see every day; the people you travel to and from work with. You think you know them better than that. You’re wrong.”
The ruthless psychopath is more than a matchmaker. “Someone could be downloading your profile right now. . . A facilitator for desires hidden so deep inside they’re barely acknowledged. The chance to kill someone.”
From making notes of everything from hair color, body size, duration, availability, employment, routines, timing, locations, and a rating of easy, moderate, difficult. A cost. Chilling!
As Zoe and Kelly plan an attack, they are in danger as well as Katie. Any woman on the train could be the next victim. Once the photo appears, are they worth the amount someone is willing to pay to kill?
With a cast of characters, the author leaves you in suspense as you doubt everyone close to Zoe. Who is the sinister mastermind behind this elaborate cybercrime – a deadly scheme of cat and mouse?
Mackintosh spins an elaborate set up with the slow burning background of Zoe and her family as well as Kelly. Two interesting women. The suspense builds to a fast-paced heart-pounding climax, with an array of red herrings. Readers will be mindful of their own daily routines and possibly be looking over their shoulders, or mixing up their daily grind. I know, I will. Take a different route, a different time.
In our world of identity theft, technology, social media, and cyber-crimes, a horrifying fictional account, and yet a believable one which makes it even scarier.
I See You, would make a great movie. You never know who is watching. Are we ever safe? Highly entertaining, suspenseful, and innovative.
For me, the mystery secret person and the words in italics— "the icing on the cake." The twisty finale will leave you spinning. The secret is finally revealed. I was reminded of the final episode of Season One TV Series, Secrets and Lies. Deliciously evil!
Well crafted, Mackintosh once again uses her cop procedural expertise mixed with her fine-tuned writing abilities, to keep readers glued to the pages for a strong and gritty second installment. Highly recommend both books.
“Accomplished, addictive and thought-provoking.”—B. A. Paris, author of Behind Closed Doors
“Mackintosh scripts a hair-raising ride.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A well-crafted blend of calculated malevolence, cunning plot twists, and redemption that will appeal to fans of Sophie Hannah, Ruth Rendell, and Ruth Ware.”—Booklist (starred review)
Mackintosh's meticulous detail to investigative accuracy and talent in weaving a thrilling tale set her work apart from others in the field.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A deliciously creepy tale of urban paranoia.”—Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in Cabin 10
“Wonderfully sinister. Had me looking over my shoulder.”—Fiona Barton, New York Times bestselling author of The Widow “A brilliant second novel by one of Britain’s most exciting newcomers.”—Jeffrey Archer, #1 New York Times bestselling author of This Was a Man
“An intense psychological thriller that I inhaled with my heart in my mouth… unsettling and claustrophobic read. Truly shuddersome.”—Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl “Mind-bending…[this novel] makes you reevaluate every step you take and you will see the world in a different light. And that is genius.”—Alexandra Burt, author of The Good Daughter
“I See You is both a compelling portrayal of modern family life and a superbly twisty thriller that keeps you guessing until the very last page. An edge of the seat read!”—Kate Hamer, author of The Girl in the Red Coat
About the Author
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 now writes full time.
Clare’s debut novel, I Let You Go, was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller for 12 weeks, 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 ITV’s Loose Women’s ‘Loose Books’, and has been translated into 31 languages. It has sold more than 600,000 copies to date. In July 2016 Clare received the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award.
Clare’s second book, I See You, was published in July 2016 and will be published in more than 17 languages so far. In its first week of sales I See You charted at number three in the Sunday Times hardback bestseller list. Read More