I am such a huge fan of the first person POV narrative style; especially when it comes to getting the inside scoop of an antagonist. Give me a novel with the deepest inner workings of a stalker or a serial killer and I am hooked. I don’t know what this says about me but I know for sure that novels like this keep me up late into the night and on the edge of my seat. Enter, Watch Me, the debut suspense novel by Jody Gehrman (best-known for her chick-lit).
From the first few lines of the synopsis, stating the novel would be for fans dark, twisty psychological thrillers and about how far obsession can go, I knew it would land at the top of my TBR pile. Young, recently divorced college professor looking for a protégé? Check. Handsome, promising student who wants more than a mentor? Check. Sexual tension? Check. Student turns out to be a stalker trying to ruin the professor’s life so she runs closer to him? Check. Check. Check. Told through back and forth narration between Kate, the college professor, and Sam, the creepy-stalkeresque student, the narrative unfolds and the reader is privy to both Sam’s obsession and Kate’s mounting fear.
Initially, Watch Me felt like a less gritty version of Perfect Days by Rapheal Montes or You by Caroline Kepnes. Sam Grist, the main antagonist of Watch Me, seemed a bit more surface than other stalker characters I have encountered. I felt like a lot of his backstory was left a little bit ambivalent. I do realize this could have been a deliberate choice from the author to keep the reader feeling like Kate (not knowing what is true or what Sam’s entire motives could be) but I feel like with a first-person narration, I wanted to understand the full story.
While bits felt a little redundant, I did enjoy Gehrman’s prose and I loved the bits and pieces that took place during Kate’s writing workshop. Discussion of the first person POV (how the reader should know all of the motives since they have sort of entered into a contract with the character) and the writer’s craft was so interesting to me. Although it had little to do with the actual plot, I felt like it added an extra layer of believability to the text.
I raced through the last 25% or so of the novel, even though the very end felt extremely sudden, and was pleased with the general direction it took. I was actually a little bit surprised at the final epilogue, which was nice.
Overall, if you are a fan of the stalker style thriller, then I feel like this would be a welcome addition to your shelves! I felt like it was paced well and solidly entertaining!
This novel is out January 23, 2018! Be sure to grab your copy!
Thanks to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for a digital copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.
Want to see what Jess and Chandra thought of Watch Me? Keep reading to check out their thoughts on our latest January read.
Continue reading “Book Review: Watch Me (Jody Gehrman) @jodygehrman @StMartinsPress”