I first stumbled across I Am Watching You, the newest release by Teresa Driscoll, in a co-worker’s Goodreads newsletter. After reading the synopsis, I was captivated by the idea of this story and I knew I would have to add this one to my TBR pile. After binge reading it for a couple of hours, I am pleased to say that I Am Watching You is absolutely worth your time, folks!
The novel opens with Ella, a woman riding the train, overhearing two young men flirting with a couple of teenage girls on the train. Listening in to their conversation, her maternal instinct is put on high alert after one of the men reveals they are fresh out of prison. However, she decides, against her better judgment, not to say anything. After all, it is none of her business. The next day, she is horrified to find out that one of the girls, Anna, has disappeared. A year later, Ella is still wracked with guilt over what she should have done and, as the anniversary of Anna’s disappearance approaches, Ella begins to receive threatening letters. Someone is coming after her.
The concept of the plot was what really stuck out for me with this story. I read a lot of mystery/thriller novels and they all sort of start blending together so when I come across a story that FEELS different, it really excites me. The thought of second-guessing a decision or not intervening because it is none of your business/it would be uncomfortable to do is such a common thought process and I was drawn to the fact that this could really happen to anyone. More often than not, people go through their day-to-day routines people pleasing or trying to avoid conflict, what if that intervention could save someone’s life? This novel had me thinking before I even turned the first page.
The novel is told in alternating perspectives between Ella, the witness from the train, a private investigator, Anna’s father, Anna’s friend (Sarah) and The Watcher. I really enjoyed the multiple perspectives; I am a sucker for a novel that narrates from all angles and I felt like Driscoll did an amazing job at ensuring that each perspective of the tale was told fully. I also loved the build-up to the reveal of “whodunit”. I was so on edge by the end of the novel and when Anna finally had her chance to narrative and reveal her fate, I was completely drawn in.
The only thing that irked me about this story was the sheer number of side plots; several of the characters have personal issues and side relationships that didn’t really make a lot of sense in relation to the story. I found this to be a little distracting. I mean, I am all for a well-rounded character, but I didn’t find some of the information relevant to Anna’s story.
Regardless of these minor issues, I really ended up loving I Am Watching You and would recommend it to fans of authors like Caroline Mitchell and Lisa Jewell perfectly paced, perfectly bingeable and a completely entertaining.