I Am Watching You – Teresa Driscoll

🥀 Harrowing Halloween Book! 🥀

OK, this book doesn’t fit in the horror genre nor is it set on or around Halloween. So why does it belong in this month’s theme? It’s about a teenage girl who goes missing and hasn’t been found a year later. If that isn’t one of the scariest, most horrific concepts ever then I don’t know what is.

The Witness became suspicious of the motives of the men on the train and thought about calling the Police but something stopped her. The next day one of the girls was reported missing. A year later she has yet to be found. The witness is wracked with guilt over their failure to act.

The Father is haunted by his missing daughter’s last words to him. He lied to the Police about where he was the night she disappeared.

The Friend has never told anyone what really happened that night.

The Private Investigator was in the Police force until something happened that haunts him to this day.

The First Postcard: “WHY DIDN’T YOU HELP HER?

I Am Watching You takes you inside the search for a missing teenage girl. It draws you in and doesn’t allow you to sit comfortably on the fence. You are faced with the decisions each character made and forced to wonder what you would have done in their place. You may find yourself silently judging someone’s choice and later provided with further information that turns your preconceptions upside down.

Are we too quick to judge people based on what we see on the surface?

What is the media’s role in helping or harming an investigation?

Who’s to blame when someone goes missing?

What would you have done if you were the girl’s mother, father, sister, friend?

What would you do if you saw something that made you uncomfortable? Would you stand up for what you believe is right? Or would you look away and pretend you didn’t notice?

How do you live with the choice you made when that choice comes with ripple effects?

Told in third person, with the exception of the witness whose story is in first person, each of the alternating chapters leaves you on a knife’s edge. You’re craving resolution of the cliffhanger in that person’s story yet you’re so quickly immersed in the next person’s narrative that you find you can’t decide which answer you want first. Usually this sort of suspense would have me ready to throw my Kindle at the wall but that wasn’t the case with this book. I Am Watching You had me diving straight into the next chapter so I could uncover the answers sooner.

I found this an easy read in that the narrative flowed well and I didn’t have to work hard to immerse myself in the story. I got sucked straight into the story and each time I returned to it the vortex reopened and it felt like I never left. I also found it a challenging read as it required me to ask myself what I would have done over and over, and sometimes I was uncomfortable and didn’t like my answers.

I remained dry eyed but my heart ached for the anguish experienced by so many people I met through Teresa Driscoll’s words, and not solely because of the missing person case. While everyone’s story touches the missing girl’s life in some way, they each had their own lives with joy, torment and a depth that you rarely see with multiple character perspective novels. I look forward to reading future books by this author.

Content warnings include sexual assault, self harm and eating disorders.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the opportunity to read this book. I’m going to be watching this author, just not in a creepy way. 😜

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

What would it take to make you intervene?

When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it – until she realises they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she’s decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls – beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard – has disappeared.

A year later, Anna is still missing. Ella is wracked with guilt over what she failed to do, and she’s not the only one who can’t forget. Someone is sending her threatening letters – letters that make her fear for her life.

Then an anniversary appeal reveals that Anna’s friends and family might have something to hide. Anna’s best friend, Sarah, hasn’t been telling the whole truth about what really happened that night – and her parents have been keeping secrets of their own.

Someone knows where Anna is – and they’re not telling. But they are watching Ella.

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