Watching You, by Michael Robotham

From Australia’s master of suspense, Michael Robotham, comes Watching You. This gripping, nail-biting, edge of your seat thriller is the latest in the series featuring clinical psychologist, Joe O’Loughlin. With all the right pace-quickening elements, it does not disappoint.

Marnie Logan’s husband, Daniel, disappeared more than a year ago. Now, single-handedly raising their two children, she is forced to work as an escort to cover the debts that Daniel has left her, and to provide for their children. To top it all off, Marnie feels like she’s being watched, like there’s a shadow just out of visibility, lurking around the corner. The truth is, she’s felt this uneasy sensation her whole life.

Depressed and desperate, Marnie seeks the help of clinical psychologist Joe O’Loughlin, who has concerns that she’ll talk about the present, but not the past. Then, Marnie discovers a scrapbook Daniel was making for her birthday. Expected to be a celebration of her life, the collection of pictures and interviews with people from her past reveal descriptions fraught with negativity and fear. When Marnie is questioned about the death of a man she knows, she has no one to turn to but Joe. But, as her history starts to reveal itself, even Joe is starting to wonder what it is that Marnie’s hiding.

For me, no thriller is as thrilling as the psychological kind, and Watching You is a terrific example of this type. This cleverly crafted book really got into my head: I felt unnerved, my sympathies for the protagonist constantly swayed back and forth, with each page I asked questions (frequently, whose mind am I looking into?), and I was surprised right up until the end. In particular, I was impressed at how the pace kept me sitting on a knife-edge, but not to the detriment of the characters. Robotham manages to delve deeply into each of his characters, painting them vividly and believably, while still managing to maintain the right about of tension.

For me, though, it is Robotham’s observations that make this book stand out. It is a book about watching: about how we watch each other, and about the judgements and observations that manifest as a result. It’s a book about stalking another person, but also about how we stalk ourselves. Watching You is also about family and trust, and the fascinating workings of the human mind.

A very satisfying, well-written book, you’ll find it difficult to put Watching You down. While it is part of a series, I’ve not read any of the previous books (yet) and did not feel I missed out on anything, so it definitely works as a stand-alone novel. This is Suspense Fiction at it’s best, and comes highly recommended. My only warning: leave the lights on.

Michael Robotham is an Australian crime fiction writer. He is a former journalist, and has ghost written more than fifteen “autobiographies”, twelve of which became Sunday Times bestsellers. His psychological thrillers have been published in more than fifty countries.

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TITLE: Watching You
AUTHOR(S): Michael Robotham
PUBLISHER: Hachette
RRP: $36.99
ISBN: 9781847445278

Emma is an ardent writer, reviewer and editor. She currently lives in Orange, NSW, where she shares her time between writing, undergraduate studies in Linguistics and French (oui, c’est vrai!), and her “day job” as a yoga teacher. Emma especially enjoys reading women’s fiction, contemporary fiction and the classics.

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