Title: I See You by Clare Mackintosh
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 382 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
The author of the New York Times bestseller I Let You Go propels readers into a dark and claustrophobic thriller, in which a normal, everyday woman becomes trapped in the confines of her normal, everyday world…
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…
Fast-paced with a very unique premise, I See You by Clare Mackintosh is a chilling mystery that is suspense-laden and downright creepy.
Zoe Walker is like many Londoners who rely on public transportation to go to and from work every day. Her daily routine is quite predictable and she rarely varies her route or where she sits on her daily commute. Passing time on her ride home one day, Zoe is stunned to find a picture of herself along with a phone number and web address in the classified section of the newspaper. Despite her family and friends’ assurances she is not the person in the photo, she is curious enough to continue checking the classified section. Zoe soon makes a stunning connection between some of the women in the advertisements and recent victims of increasingly violent crimes. She reports her suspicions to British Transport Police Detective Constable Kelly Swift who in turn manages to get assigned to the Murder Investigation Team (MIT). Working closely with Detective Inspector Nick Rampello, she and the other members of the MIT make a horrifying discovery: someone is stalking daily commuters and putting their information up for sale on a secret website. Quickly realizing two women who were recently murdered and a rape victim were featured in the adverts, Kelly and Nick are under pressure to uncover the identity of the person running the site before someone else is attacked. The stakes are even higher for Zoe who is growing increasingly worried about her safety.
Zoe is a divorced mum of two adult children, nineteen year old Katie, an aspiring actress and twenty-two year old Justin, who has finally turned his life around after a couple of brushes with the law when he was younger. She and her two children live with her significant other, Simon, who dotes on her but cannot seem to quell his jealousy over her ex-husband Matt, who drives a taxi for a living. Zoe commutes to her job in London where she works at a real estate office that specializes in commercial properties. Close friends with her neighbors, Melissa and Neil, Zoe is mostly happy with her life although she frets over her children’s futures.
DC Kelly Swift is an excellent investigator but after she got into some trouble during a case a few years earlier, her career has stalled. After Zoe calls her with her suspicions about recent cases being linked to the classified adverts, she convinces an old boss of hers to let her work with the MIT. Kelly is instrumental in finding the first big break in their investigation but their first solid lead quickly run into a dead end. Realizing time is not on their side, Nick puts someone from cyber crimes on the case and while they uncover valuable information, will it be enough to identify the person who is running the website?
Once Zoe has a better idea of what is going on with the adverts, she becomes more and more worried about her security. She uncovers shocking information about Simon but her biggest concern is Katie’s new boyfriend. However, it is an innocuous discovery that sets a horrifying plan into action that threatens those she holds most dear. Will Kelly and Nick find the evidence they need to catch the person behind the website before it is too late?
I See You by Clare Mackintosh is a spellbinding police procedural that has many unexpected twists and turns. A vast pool of suspects and a series of misdirects and red herrings will keep readers guessing the perpetrator’s identity right up until the novel’s stunning conclusion. Although the final plot twist is not completely unexpected, it is still a stunning revelation that leaves a few loose ends dangling. I highly recommend this intricately plotted and devilishly clever mystery to fans of the genre.