book review: I See You by Clare Mackintosh

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I See You by Clare Mackintosh

US pub date: February 21, 2017

★★★★

What I keep hearing about this book is that it doesn’t live up to Clare Mackintosh’s debut that was published last year, I Let You Go. Fortunately for me, I See You was my first Mackintosh novel, so I’m happy to say that I was able to mostly really enjoy it. Enough that I’ll probably read I Let You Go at some point, with high expectations.

I See You is a topical and creepy thriller about a one-sided ‘dating’ website that targets London-based women. Their pictures will appear in a newspaper advertisement for the website, and soon after they’ll become victims of some crime, ranging from theft to murder. When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the paper and discovers a link between the crimes, she’s sure that someone’s marked her as the next target.

Tense and addicting, this had me on the edge of my seat. While the plot itself is at times slow moving, there’s a certain fear and paranoia that permeates the narrative; it leaves you guessing about these characters and their motives, but it also makes you think about your own life, about the privacy settings on your Facebook account, about the dangers of living in this technological fishbowl of a society, where your movements are constantly tracked.

Alternating chapters with Zoe, we get the point of view of Kelly, working with the Murder Investigation Team to track who’s behind the series of attacks. I wasn’t surprised to learn that Clare Mackintosh had worked in the police force before becoming a writer, given the meticulous level of detail to this side of the story. All in all, it’s very well done.

Sure, I See You requires a certain suspension of disbelief, but I think the mark of a good author is the ability to make you believe something that you might not, ordinarily. It’s an outlandish premise, but Mackintosh had me thoroughly convinced. It wasn’t until after I finished this book that I started ruminating on flaws in its design – and there certainly are flaws, certain things you need to accept without question (I won’t go into detail in order to keep this spoiler-free). But ultimately, I don’t care so much about that. This was a good story, and a downright terrifying psychological thriller that leaves you guessing – literally! – until the last page. A really enjoyable reading experience and a great way to spend this snow day.

Also, I pride myself on my ability to figure out whodunnits pretty early on in the story, nine times out of ten. But I have to shamefully admit that I fell for the red herring here. 😦

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley, Berkley, and Clare Mackintosh.

+ link to review on goodreads

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