Review: Watching You by Lisa Jewell


Release date: December 26, 2018

Publisher: Atria

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.

As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.

One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam… 


Lisa Jewell has proven to me several times over that she’s a force to be reckoned with, there is something utterly intoxicating about her writing style that just captures my attention from beginning to end and this was no different. The premise/title combo appealed to me greatly, nothing really creeps me out more than thinking about being watched or stalked and once I really got into this one and realized who was watching whom I was completely hooked!

There are quite a few characters here and it’s told from their various perspectives, but there’s not so many that I couldn’t keep track of who was who. It opens with a murder, a sure fire way to reel me in and throughout the book there are transcripts from police interviews with the residents of the neighborhood. It was a clever tool and one that I appreciated, it was interesting to see what each person would reveal in their interview as they all had secrets they were desperate to keep.

I don’t like to discuss the plot of Jewell’s books too much because she writes such intricate books that are best discovered on your own as you read them. I will say that this one did focus on obsession, betrayal, lies and paranoia and what a killer combination that turned out to be in the end. Jewell is a fantastic writer who writes about domestic strife like no other, this is sure to be another hit!

Watching You in three words: Obsessive, Gripping and Complex.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

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