When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation, no website: just a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.
Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . . .
Clare Mackintosh has one of those minds that can take a perfectly simple idea and turn it into every woman’s nightmare. I See You is that book. Spine chilling in its simplicity, the idea is so scary because you can see exactly how it could work and why it would be attractive to your everyday commercially minded psychopath.
Clare is the author of the best-selling psychological thriller I Let You Go; one of last year’s must read books. With I See You, she has followed up with another clever, well plotted and fast paced novel.
Zoe has two children, with Matt, but now lives with Simon in their London suburban home. She and Matt are still on good terms, but Simon isn’t keen on their continuing a friendly relationship, so their contact is usually through access to the children, Katie and Justin.
Kelly is a police officer, recently demoted as a result of her failure to contain her emotions while dealing with a difficult case. She has been working with a squad focussing on tube crimes, but is eager to prove herself worthy of being considered again for more taxing work.
Zoe commutes into central London every weekday, and as with many commuters, picks up a copy of the free daily paper and reads though it while on her journey. When she spots her own photograph she is at first puzzled, then confused. Is it really her photograph? How could it have become attached to a classified ad? Convinced by her family and friends that it simply bears a resemblance to her and is nothing to worry about, she puts her concerns aside.
But when she continues to see similar photographs appearing every day in the classifieds, and realises that one of them belongs to a woman who had her keys stolen on the tube, her fears re-emerge and she starts to feel quite disturbed by what she feels is a possible pattern.
Kelly is looking in to the theft of the woman’s keys when she takes a phone call from the worried Zoe. As she looks further into what Zoe is telling her, she uncovers a deeply disturbing chain that sends her straight to the murder squad to pursue her theory with relentless persistence.
Nicely characterised and with good plot twists and turns, this is a great read and an undoubted summer success story. I know I will be looking carefully around me next time I go on the tube.
I See You is published by Sphere on 28 July 2016