Book Review: WATCHING YOU by Lisa Jewell

This book was one of my favorites of 2018! It squeaked in as a late-December entry. This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is republished here with permission.

“Dear diary, I think I’m in love with my English teacher.”

With that opener, Lisa Jewell signals that Watching You will be unsettling, and when the prologue follows with a dead body in a pool of blood, this feeling is confirmed. The identity of the body is not revealed right away, as Jewell goes back three months to introduce all the characters in this twisty psychological drama.

Joey is a young newlywed who has just moved with her husband, Alfie, into her brother’s house in Melville Heights, a ritzy section in Bristol, England. Jack insists both he and his wife, Rebecca, love having Joey and Alfie there. Joey isn’t so sure, since Rebecca seems to avoid her.

Joey develops an instant case of lust for a neighbor, Tom, headmaster at the local school. He’s married and has a teenage son, Freddie, who sits in the upstairs bedroom window and photographs his neighbors and people in the street.

At Tom’s school is a student named Jenna who suspects she’s crossed paths with him somewhere else, years before he came to run her school. But where? And does her best friend, Bess, have a crush on him?

Watching You can be applied to all these people, who are all obsessed with someone. Jewell excels in creating complex characters, building tension and keeping readers in the dark yet riveted until the “Aha!” moments. Some situations don’t end well, but this thriller unfolds and concludes in a very satisfying way.

Buy it now

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  • Reply
    January 25, 2019 at 10:12 am

    This looks so awesome in your neat, fancy new space, I love it. I have liked some of Jewell’s stuff, though she can get a bit expositiony for me. This one sounds good, however, and making your list is always a push to the TBR.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      January 25, 2019 at 4:31 pm

      Thank you! It is neat and fancy and I wish my home was this clean.

      This one is my favorite of hers so far. It stuck to my ribs.

  • Reply
    January 25, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    Okaaaaay, this seems filled with promise. Odd that I haven’t heard of it. Consider it bought and stacked on my nightstand.

    And, yes, the new space is very cool.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      January 26, 2019 at 4:50 pm

      Thanks, Eirego!

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