Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.
As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.
One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.
Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…
Hmmmmm. This one’s a bit of a hard one. The beginning for me was slow. However, by chapter 16 it picked up and I have to admit I had a nervous excitement! I devoured each page, growing more and more curious, what was Mr Fitzwilliam hiding? I was pretty disappointed with Joey, but that’s a personal opinion. I actually really enjoyed the roll Freddie played, it felt unique to the story, to see things through a teens eyes. Which then got me thinking about my own teen son, although I know he’s too busy behind his PS4 to be peering through binoculars at people, lol. So although it started out slow, it did very much pick up. I don’t think the few plot twists were a surprise though, and unfortunately a bit predictable, so the story lost a star there. And I thought trying to wrap the story up in chapter 69 was a bit of a cheat-ish way. I would have much preferred another 2 or 3 chapters with the other characters telling the story.
BUT other than those three points, I came to really enjoy this story. I love it when a book has a physiological affect on you. That, I think, is a pretty darn important power of a good read. It’s like a superpower! When you can’t help but read, and read, and read, until you notice it’s 2am and your eyes feel like cement but you just want to keep going and you end up having a micronap you didn’t even know you took and suddenly you have a second wind!!!! Yep, a good book will make you so hyped you’ll type a massive sentence :-P.
So I definitely recommend you try this one. You may just have the opposite opinion of the first 15 chapters, who knows. Enjoy it!
I give Watching You: 4/5