Title: Watching you by Michael Robotham
Joseph O’Loughlin Mystery
Publisher: Mullholland Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 432 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
New York Times bestselling author Michael Robotham brings us face-to-face with a manipulative psychopath who has destroyed countless lives and is about to claim one final victim.
Marnie Logan often feels like she’s being watched: a warm breath on the back of her neck, or a shadow in the corner of her eye that vanishes when she turns her head.
She has reason to be frightened. Her husband Daniel has inexplicably vanished, and the police have no leads in the case. Without proof of death or evidence of foul play, she can’t access his bank accounts or his life insurance. Depressed and increasingly desperate, she seeks the help of clinical psychologist Joe O’Loughlin.
O’Loughlin is concerned by Marnie’s reluctance to talk about the past and anxious to uncover what Marnie is withholding that could help with her treatment. The breakthrough in Marnie’s therapy and Daniel’s disappearance arrives when Marnie shares with O’Loughlin her discovery of the Big Red Book, a collage of pictures, interviews, and anecdotes from Marnie’s friends and relatives that Daniel had been compiling as part of a surprise birthday gift.
Daniel’s explorations into Marnie’s past led him to a shocking revelation on the eve of his disappearance: Anyone who has ever gotten close to Marnie has paid an exacting price. A cold-blooded killer is eliminating the people in Marnie’s life, and now that O’Loughlin is a part of it, he is next in line.
Watching You is another spine-tingling thriller by Michael Robotham starring Dr. Joe O’Loughlin and his friend, ex-cop Vincent Ruiz. This chilling mystery is full of intriguing plot twists that will keep readers guessing right up until the novel’s spectacular conclusion.
Joe’s patient since her husband Daniel’s disappearance a year ago, Marnie Logan is becoming increasingly desperate to uncover the truth about what happened to Daniel. The police investigation has yielded no leads and financially strapped, Marnie’s stress is intensified when she is expected to work off Daniel’s huge gambling debt to a local thug. Equally concerning for Marnie is the feeling that someone is watching her-nothing she can prove but she is unable shrug off the eerie sensation. The discovery of a birthday project Daniel was working on for Marnie at the time he disappeared offers vital yet puzzling clues and completely turns the investigation around. When people connected to Marnie begin turning up dead, Marnie becomes the chief suspect but she denies any involvement. Joe is convinced of her innocence but even he begins to harbor doubts when shocking information about her past comes to light. Is Marnie a cold-blooded killer? Or is there a far more sinister explanation for both Daniel’s disappearance and the murders?
As with previous novels in the series, Watching You is written from multiple perspectives-Joe’s, Marnie’s and presumably, the killer’s. Marnie’s emotions and growing desperation are palpable and easily draw the reader in to the story. She is sympathetic and early on, there is no reason to doubt her. But when it becomes clear that she has carefully edited her past, it is very easy to become suspicious of her and that of course, leads to second guessing everything that has happened up to this point in the story.
Joe is still struggling with the day to day difficulties from his Parkinson’s disease but overall, he seems to be holding his own in that battle. He and Julianne are separated but not divorced and as a matter of fact, she is only briefly mentioned in passing. With his incredible ability to read people, Joe has picked up on the fact that Marnie is holding something back from him during their sessions but he has been unable to convince her to completely trust him. Even in the face of damning evidence, Joe remains convinced that Marnie is not capable of the crimes she has been accused of and his persistence pays off when he uncovers vital evidence that may exonerate her.
The third perspective is quite fascinating and provides psychological insight and valuable information about the unfolding story. This history is full of clues but offers little context of where these pieces fit into the puzzle.
Watching You is an ingeniously creepy story that is full of unexpected twists and turns. The plot is multi-layered and refreshingly unique. The characters are complex and realistic. Michael Robotham brings the novel to a jaw-dropping ending that is satisfying in some areas but will leave you guessing in others.
Another brilliant mystery by a true master storyteller that old and new fans are going to love!
Click HERE for my reviews of the other novels in the Joseph O’Loughlin series.