I See You by Clare Mackintosh

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“With FindTheOne.com there are no blind-date nerves, there’s no stilted conversations over dinner. I’d argue it’s more honest than most online dating sites, with their airbrushed photos and their profiles full of lies. Salary range, hobbies, favorite foods…all irrelevant. Who builds a relationship on a mutual love of tapas? A match might be perfect on paper, yet lack the spark needed to set it alight.

FindTheOne.com cuts through all that rubbish; the pretense that anyone cares if you like opera or walks in the park. It means men can take their time. They can follow you for a while, engage you in conversation; see if you’re interesting enough to take for dinner, instead of wasting their time on a garrulous airhead. It means men can get up close and personal. Smell your perfume; your breath; your skin. Feel a spark. Act on it.”

I must admit to the guilty pleasure of reading a thriller. I like to read them scattered between translated or classical literature, simply for the ride. But, I don’t like all thrillers. I didn’t like Gone Girl, for example, and I wasn’t particularly taken with The Girl on The Train. However, I See You kept me engaged all afternoon.

It is based on the premise that a web site sells the details of women’s commutes to work, from which Tube line they take, to the carriage in which they sit, to the exit they use in heading for home. When Zoe discovers a connection between an advertisement on the Gazette and subsequent murders of the women pictured on each advert, the tension rises palatably until its surprising crescendo.

Try as I might, I could not guess the perpetrator. But, Clare Mackintosh does not forcibly manipulate either her reader, or the clues, into a neat little package. The resolution makes perfect sense and has been drawn carefully from the first chapter if one is mindful enough to see it.

If the reader will remember that it is not just the site, nor those who are drawn to it, but the mastermind behind it all. The mind that causes Zoe, and now me, to carefully observe her surroundings to see if anyone follows her with malicious intent.

 

Other reviews:

“Mackintosh scripts a hair-raising ride all the scarier because its premise—that our predictable routines make us easy targets—is sadly so plausible.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“[T]he steadily thickening paranoia will leave readers questioning their comfortable routines…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

Packed with suspense, twists, and turns…[Mackintosh’s] meticulous detail to investigative accuracy and talent in weaving a thrilling tale set her work apart from others in the field.” —Kirkus

(I See You by Clare Mackintosh will be published on February 21, 2017. Thanks to Penguin for the Advanced Reading Copy.)

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20 comments

  1. I know what you mean. I love reading thrillers, cozy mysteries, and YA in between my books of substance for something light, fun, and easy-going. Plus, I’m able to devour these types of books in one go, which I really like. I have this on my kindle and started it awhile ago, but didn’t really engage with it at the time. Perhaps, I’ll give it another go. Glad you enjoyed it so much 🙂 You make it sound so good.

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    1. It’s interesting that neither you nor Les found this to your liking, when usually I’m the naysayer! I guess it just suited a peaceful Sunday afternoon for me. No sense pushing on, though, if you’re not enjoying it.

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  2. I, too, enjoy a good thriller and you’ve made this one sound very good! I tried her earlier novel (I Let You Go), but couldn’t get interested and gave up after a few chapters. Maybe I’ll have better luck with I See You. I’ve just started The Book That Matters Most, but maybe I’ll give this one a read once I’ve finished.

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    1. I haven’t read I Let You Go, although Penguin sent me that, too, long ago. I guess it was a best seller in England. One of the things that made this work for me is that it was believable, which surely must come on part from the author’s personal experience with the police.

      I hope you’re liking The Book That Matters Most. It was a gentle way to begin 2017 for me, when 2016 was not a good reading year.

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  3. I’ve read both of Clare Mackintosh’s books and liked them. This one was particularly creepy. As you know though, these types of books are my favorites. I’ll be curious as to what this author tackles next.

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    1. The premise of being followed is so believable! And the ending; I kept thinking it was over and it wasn’t. Then it wasn’t again. Did you feel it was better than Gone Girl, too? (Of course, a stack of papers that need to be graded is better than that one for me.)

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      1. It’s been quite a while since I read GONE GIRL, but my main problem with that one was the ending. And the fact that I could find no character to ‘bond’ with. I seem to need at least one character that I can like, at least somewhat. Honestly, though I do enjoy the puzzles of the psychological thrillers that are so prevalent now, my true mystery love resides with the battles between good and evil – probably a more traditional mystery – and I always like justice to win in the end. I can manage with flawed characters, but I prefer them to have a ‘heart of gold’. LOL

        P.S. We did GONE GIRL in my mystery group a few years ago. What a wild meeting. As a whole, we were not happy. And we are experienced mystery lovers. 😉

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  4. Bellezza, I am seeing I See You a lot today, as I make my blog visits. But yours is the first review I’ve read. It sounds like a clever and suspenseful thriller.

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  5. I actually liked her first book better.

    This book did make me more aware of my surroundings, but it took too long for the suspense to begin. The ending was worth the wait, though. Terrific finish…I never guessed who the culprit was either.

    Thanks for your great review.

    Elizabeth

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    1. It seems that many people liked the first one better, but I haven’t read that one. And while the book may have had a slow start, my reading has been so slow lately I didn’t particularly notice that. 😉 The ending was totally unexpected and yet somehow not contrived, in my opinion.

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