Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all doing well. Today I’m going to be posting my review of Clare Mackintosh’s brilliant novel, ‘I See You’. I read her debut ‘I Let You Go’ a while back and absolutely loved it (check out my full review here), and have finally gotten around to reading ‘I See You’. Keep reading to discover my thoughts…
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 grainy image, a website address 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.
Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . . .
** TRIGGER WARNING ** Contains references to physical, emotional and sexual violence, including rape.
‘I See You’ (July 2016) is Clare Mackintosh’s second novel, following on from ‘I Let You Go’ (May 2015). Her latest novel ‘Let Me Lie’ is due to be released in March 2018. Mackintosh spent twelve years working in the police force, before leaving to work as a freelance journalist and then a full-time writer. She lives in North Wales with her family.
The novel is a number one bestseller, and winner of the Richard And Judy Summer Book Club 2017. The novel received amazing reviews, for example from The Sunday Times: “Arresting…ingenious”, Daily Mail: “A breathless thriller based on a brilliant idea”, and The Times: “Impressive and original.” Many fellow authors praised the book, such as Renee Knight: “Flawless plotting”, B.A. Paris: “Accomplished, addictive and thought-provoking”, and C.L. Taylor: “Heart-stoppingly excellent”.
‘I See You’ is a spectacular Psychological Thriller novel, with a complex narrative structure and plot. The narrative essentially follows Zoe Walker, who is dumbfounded when she sees her photo on an advertisement in a newspaper. She begins a search to uncover the truth – but nothing could have prepared her for what happens next…
The narrative alternates between two perspectives throughout. Zoe Walker’s perspective, which is narrated in the first-person, details her personal struggles after discovering the advert in the newspaper. The second perspective is Kelly Swift’s, which is narrated in the third-person. Kelly Swift is the officer in charge of Zoe’s case, and through her perspective we gain an insight to the police procedures. Then there is a third perspective: an unknown, sinister voice which comments on Zoe’s situation.
I loved both Zoe and Kelly as characters, but I found that I probably related to Zoe slightly more. She’s a loving, caring parent, whose life is unfortunately turned upside down through no fault of her own. She always puts others before herself, and she doesn’t want to burden anyone with her problems. But we begin to see her anxiety and fear grow as it seems that somebody may be after her – making her an extremely relatable character. Kelly Swift attempts to keep a level-head whilst investigating Zoe’s case, but she has some dark secrets of her own. The reader is given an insight into her own personal struggles, and I really felt a great deal of sympathy towards her.
Other characters in the novel include: Graham (Zoe’s unsympathetic boss), Katie (Zoe’s daughter), Isaac (Katie’s boyfriend) Justin (Zoe’s son), Simon (Zoe’s husband), Matt (Zoe’s ex-husband), Melissa (Zoe’s best friend), Lexi (Kelly’s sister), and other members of the police force. As you can see, there is a wide cast of characters in the novel – but they all bring something different and fresh to the narrative.
** TRIGGER WARNING ** This novel contains references to acts of both emotional and physical violence, including crimes of this nature. The novel also explores the theme of sexual violence, including both implicit and explicit descriptions of scenes of rape. If you could possibly find any of these issues triggering, then I would suggest you skip this book.
As the novel drives on, Zoe’s fear and anxiety grows and grows, leading her to make some bad decisions. Kelly and the team continue to investigate the crimes, attempting to find out who is behind the advertisements. Both narratives pick up in pace and motor onwards, eventually clashing at the end of the novel.
So, let’s talk about the ending. There’s a terrifying, nail-biting scene at the end of the novel, in which events have the potential to go awfully wrong for all characters. The scene is tense and shocking, and I physically couldn’t have put the book down if I tried! I’m not sure that I’m 100% happy with the revelation of “whodunnit” – but other readers may be a lot more pleased with this than I was.
Overall, I highly recommend this novel to those of you who enjoy fast-paced thrillers, particularly those of you who have an interest in stalker fiction (like me!) The plot is extremely complex and very well-executed, and the novel maintains a high level of suspense and tension throughout. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as ‘I Let You Go’ due to me having some reservations about the ending. A spectacular read!
Happy reading 🙂