Book Review – I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Finally! I’ve read another psychological thriller I feel worthy of the genre and all the elements associated with it. Deceit, suspense, lies, etc. I thrive on that sort of thing.

Following from the first novel I’ve read from Mackintosh, I feel that this one does it better. I’m not saying the previous one I’ve read (I Let You Go) is bad – on the contrary it was very good too (5/5), but this one is even better. The premise, though albeit slightly unbelievable, is still nonetheless intriguing and hooked me in, line-sinker and all.

The story bubbles with suspense – which was why I loved it. You know how horror movies create suspense through lighting, music, and so on? Well, Mackintosh does exactly that through her writing. How brilliant is that? My heart was pounding against my ribs as I neared the big reveal towards the end, I swear I might have even cheated by restlessly peeking ahead just to glimpse an idea of what was going to happen.

The story is narrated from two people’s point of view mainly – Zoe and Kelly. Zoe saw her face in the newspapers one day while she was on the Tube (underground subway), but she couldn’t be sure it was here as the image was just a little grainy. After that, she noticed another familiar face in the papers, and so on. She starts uncovering the mystery behind the photos, as well as why the people listed in the papers start dying one after the other. Kelly, who is a police officer, receives the report from these women whose photos appear in the papers. She works with the Transport Police to uncover the mystery before they run out of time and more people are killed.

The twist at the end was satisfying, just like in ‘I Let You Go’ and did not disappoint. Even the very final twist at the epilogue ended the story with just the perfect amount of flourish just so that it doesn’t seem too overly “neatly wrapped-up”. Mackintosh hinted at so many possible suspects along the way, giving away so many clues here and there but not committing to anyone that it really kept me on the edge. The characters are so likable it caused me to sympathize with some of them, silently rooting for their innocence.

An excellent psychological thriller well worth reading, contains the correct ingredients for this genre and laden heavily with suspense.

Rating: 5/5

Book Review – I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

an excellent psychological thriller

Ahhh.. what could be better than devouring a heart-stopping thriller that nags away at my mind every time I have to put it down, continually urging me on to greedily sip away at the rapidly simmering plot. You know a thriller is that good when you reach a stage you try to read it slowly so it doesn’t end so quickly, but yet you yearn to find out what happens next.

I guess I didn’t bother to disguise in the opening of this post that I thoroughly enjoyed this book – my first one by this author. Writing was easy to read, flowing prose – short and rapid-fire lines to build suspense and long structured sentences where detailed explanations were needed.

Jenny Gray, devastated with the loss of her son in a traffic accident and unable to deal with the public opinion that she just let him go ‘for a split second’ before a car rammed into him, escaped from her home to the countryside to leave her past behind. What happens next? Can she ever truly run away from it all?

MAJOR spoiler follows in white text: ( Of course, if you’ve already read the book, Jenna didn’t lose her son; she was the wife of the cause of someone losing their son) END spoiler.

The twist around the middle of the story was absolutely astonishing. And totally unexpected. The plot thickens quickly after that; and we find out more details about her history. The story is simultaneously told from the perspective of the two detectives on this hit-and-run case. I enjoyed how the sub-plot from their view is substantially enjoyable as well (in some cases the author doesn’t develop them properly, instead focusing on the main plot). Chapters are chopped up into neat and appropriate chunks. Oh, did I mention a counter-twist towards the end? Twist-ception indeed!

Most of the characters were believable and people you could feel sympathetic to. Of course, there were unlikable characters as well. So thoroughly unlikable that the more you read on, the more you would wish them dead. Mackintosh does a great job at throwing you clues here and there: a single word, sometimes a little phrase that makes your blood run cold – something a book can do that would require a spectacular director to emulate in a movie. I absolutely could not put down the last few chapters, almost afraid the ending would be one I did not like. Thankfully, that did not happen.

I look forward to reading more from Mackintosh.

Rating: 5/5