That first postcard was inside an envelope. A black card with letters cut out of a magazine. WHY DIDN’T YOU HELP HER?”Ella, I am Watching You Chapter 4, page 26
Author: Teresa Driscoll
I am usually not into thriller/murder mystery books, which is interesting because I really enjoy murder mystery t.v. shows like forensic files. This book though….it was great. It was a rollercoaster that is for sure, but I enjoyed every minute of it, and every twist and turn there was.
As I did in the last book review I am going to provide the goodreads summary of the book because I feel like it did a much better job of explaining this book than I will ever do. Plus I’m afraid I would give waaaay to much away if I even tried to summarize it.
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.
This book is written from the perspectives of 4 different people. Ella, Sarah, Henry, and Mathew. This can get confusing at times, but if you are paying attention to what you are reading and you are not watching tv or listening to music or something else then you will be able to follow it just fine. The characters in this book had a lot of development to them, but the character that I was able to relate to the most was Ella. Not because we are similar in age, but because I was really able to think of what I would do in her shoes. Would I have reacted the same way? Would I be blaming myself if I hadn’t done something.
That was my favorite part of the book I would have to say. Being able to really dig in to what I would do if this ever happened to me. To be honest, I don’t know that I would have done anything differently. One of the first questions that Ella poses in the book is what would you think if you saw two men board a train, each holding a black bin bag-contents unknown? I know that I would have thought it was a little bit odd and started to watch what they were doing, but that is something that I do with everyone. I have watched too many crime shows and I am always very aware of my surroundings when I am out alone. The only thing that I think I would have done differently than Ella would have been that I would not have hidden the letters. I would have gone to the police right away. I think that Ella was a bit too trusting, but I can see why her being a 40 year old woman with a teenage son would make her think that it was something innocent that could be stopped. I’m in my twenties so that is probably why I wouldn’t trust that it wasn’t some psycho.
The next character that I really could sort of relate to was Anna, the missing girl. Not because I have ever gone missing, but because I know what it is like to finally be trusted to go out and do something by yourself and be afraid to call your parents because you think you will never be able to go out and do anything again. I felt for her because she was trying to do the right thing. She was trying to get back to the hotel so that she could be somewhere she felt safe.
The character that made me the most angry was a tie between Sarah and Henry. Sarah was Anna’s best friend and you find out pretty early on in the book that she didn’t tell the police the truth about what happened that night. I don’t know that her telling the truth would have changed the outcome, actually I know that it wouldn’t have, but I get angry just thinking about her caring more about what people would think of her than caring about what could have happened to her friend. Henry is Anna’s dad and he just made me angry from the beginning. You also find out early on that he is lying, though it is made to seem worse than what it actually was. I don’t want to ruin the story by telling you why I hated him, but I did. Especially by the end of the book.
Aside from characters I did really like the book. The plot was good, I was not able to guess who the person was that was involved in the case. It had me thinking it was different people all of the time. I also was surprised by who ended up writing the letters. I did know what the outcome to the case was going to be, but for a time I did still hold out hope that it would be different than what I thought. I don’t mind the ends of books being predictable though. The writing was also great. The book invoked a lot of feelings and really made me ask myself what I would do if it was me in this situation.
I recommend this book to really anyone. Especially if you like true crime tv shows. Even if thrillers usually don’t interest you I think you would end up enjoying this book. Overall I gave it an 8/10 rating only because it is probably not a book I would pick up to read again since I already know how it would end.
If you would like to read I Am Watching You you can find it here, The link is an affiliate link, but it does not cost you any money to shop through it. It just means that I will earn a small commission from your purchase to keep this blog up and running, and to help me during this uncertain time in America and the world.