I See You by Clare Mackintosh
Published by Berkley Books on November 29th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
LINKS: Good Reads | Amazon | Indigo | Book Depository
Every morning and evening, Zoe Walker takes the same route to the train station, waits at a certain place on the platform, finds her favorite spot in the car, never suspecting that someone is watching her…
It all starts with a classified ad. During her commute home one night, while glancing through her local paper, Zoe sees her own face staring back at her; a grainy photo along with a phone number and a listing for a website called FindTheOne.com.
Other women begin appearing in the same ad, a different one every day, and Zoe realizes they’ve become the victims of increasingly violent crimes including murder. With the help of a determined cop, she uncovers the ad s twisted purpose…
A discovery that turns her paranoia into full-blown panic. Zoe is sure that someone close to her has set her up as the next target.
And now that man on the train the one smiling at Zoe from across the car could be more than just a friendly stranger. He could be someone who has deliberately chosen her and is ready to make his next move.
The man behind me is standing close enough to moisten the skin on my neck with his breath.
COVER 🌟🌟🌟🌟 PLOT 🌟🌟🌟
CHARACTERS 🌟🌟 MYSTERY 🌟🌟🌟🌟
WRITING 🌟🌟🌟🌟 THRILLS 🌟🌟🌟
I See You by Clare Mackintosh is a fictional mystery/thriller about commuter habits. It follows a woman, Zoe, who sees her picture in the classifieds for the dating service. Everyday is a new woman, and most are starting to be linked to violent crimes. Trying to get to the bottom of this mystery, Zoe has to keep a watchful eye wherever she goes. You never know who might see you.
My absolute favorite part of I See You is the suspect chapters. After we get one chapter from Zoe’s perspective and one chapter of Kelly’s perspective, we get the creepiest monologue type chapters from the suspect behind the creepy website. Some chapters he/she details what our lives are like, from our commutes, to our habits, etc, other chapters he/she explains the reasons behind his/her actions.
Mackintosh does a fantastic job making them creepier and creepier has the story goes on. They add a sinister element to the overall storytelling. Without these chapters I don’t think the story would flow as nicely as it does!
The Last 80 Pages
Sadly I felt the story dragged on at a rather slow pace with a lot of filler chapters that add very little to the overall mystery. But the last 80 or so pages of I See You are thrilling and fantastic. I am sure this is the case in most mystery/thriller type books, but it was one reveal after another that had me on the edge of my seat.
Mackintosh knew what to reveal when to reveal it. I was constantly second guessing myself and screaming out in protest. I have never been so angered (in a good way) from a mystery/thriller.
The Big Reveal / End
It’s suffice to say that the person I thought was behind it, sadly was not. I pride myself in figuring out who the big baddy is quite early on. Gathering my own evidence and marking certain things I believe to be important to the overall mystery are my favorite things to do when reading! But that big reveal (and I mean the big reveal… read it and you’ll know what I am talking about), was shocking to say the least.
Mackintosh was planting seeds all along, but I just never picked up on any of them. Or maybe I just didn’t want to believe what was right in front of me the whole time. The last suspect chapter creeped the hell out of me. I liked that the end isn’t really the end. Ambiguous endings are some of my favorites!
I tried really hard to like the main characters of I See You, but I just couldn’t. Zoe was annoying, whiny, and a bit of a mary sue. She plays the victim card to a T and her motives in the end are so out of character for her that I was left confused. Kelly on the other hand was a little better, but not great. She pries into people’s life, thinks her opinions are what’s right, and had no sense for authority and rules. Her backstory is a bit on the heartfelt side, but I just could not connect with her at all. And why was everyone sticking their arm out for this lady? She couldn’t have been THAT worth it.
I did take a liking to Nick the detective in charge though. Let’s have more books about that guy!
Like I stated above, a lot of I See You was filler nonsense that wouldn’t really affect the outcome of the story. There was more convenient solving of the mystery then there was thrills. At some points I was just reading to get to the end. I was losing interest pretty quickly.
Thanks to the last section of the book, it redeems itself!
After reading this, I have come to realize that I too am a creature of habit. I take the same train car, and exact same seat to work everyday. Who knows who is watching me? Will I break these habits? Probably not…
Let me know what you guys thought of I See You by Clare Mackintosh! I would love to hear your opinions as well!
Until next time,
Clare Mackintosh is an author, feature writer and columnist. She has written for The Guardian, Sainsbury’s Magazine, The Green Parent, and many other national publications, and is a columnist for Cotswold Life and Writing Magazine.
Clare spent twelve years in the police force, working on CID, in custody and as a public order commander, and has drawn on her experiences for her début psychological thriller I Let You Go. She is currently writing her second novel, out next year.