Publication Date: 28 July 2016
When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a website, a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.
“The man behind me is standing close enough to moisten the skin on my neck with his breath. I move my feet an inch and press myself into a grey overcoat that smells of wet dog. It feels as if it hasn’t stopped raining since the start of November, and a light steam rises from the hot bodies jammed against each other. A briefcase jabs into my thigh.”
The novel follows Zoe Walker, a middle-aged woman living with her boyfriend and two adult children. Readers also see the perspective of Kelly, a detective working on a case related to sex crimes and murders that links up with Zoe’s situation. The plot of the novel becomes clearer as you read on, as in the beginning the mystery surrounding Zoe’s photo in the newspaper creates questions as to what could be happening.
This unclear and mysterious nature made it somewhat slow to read in the beginning and I wasn’t sure if I would like the novel that much. When I got a sense of what the mystery was, I became much more interested in the story. I enjoyed guessing what could be going on, and was delighted by the outcome.
The reason for Zoe’s photo being in the newspaper is rather shocking. I thought it was a very imaginative idea and clearly took a lot of thought. The ‘big reveal’ surprised me, and I like how gripping it was as I read towards the end. I did question it slightly, as I believe the author hinted at it quite well, but did not want to believe what I suspected. Especially the very last chapter shocked me and even made me feel horrified.
The writing in the novel flowed in an engaging way, and I loved the author’s writing style. Her prose was easy to follow yet well-written. I also greatly enjoyed the setting, which was in London. There are so many exceptional thriller novels set in England, and this is another of them. Because I catch the train to university, I could easily visualise the protagonist’s commute to work, even though I have never caught the tube in London. I could also see every scene in the story very well in my mind.
As the story is told in the perspectives of two women, readers get to see a more in-depth look into the crime. Although I preferred reading the perspective of Zoe – which could be because I dislike reading crime novels – I still thought Kelly was a dynamic character. I thought Zoe’s home life was interesting because she has two older children living at home, and this is something I’ve never read in a book before, so it was refreshing to see. Using two alternating perspectives also helped keep me engrossed and want to keep reading, as the end of each chapter would sometimes end on a cliffhanger.
I have rated I See You by Clare MacKintosh 5 stars because I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I’ve read that her debut novel, I Let You Go, is even better, so I cannot wait to read that one soon. I would recommend I See You to fans of thriller/mystery.
- Have you read I See You by Clare MacKintosh?