“How fast can you run? When you really have to? In heels and a work skirt, with your bag banging against your side: how fast? When you’re late for your train and you have to get home, and you race down the platform with seconds to spare: how fast can you run? What if it isn’t a train you’re running for, but your life? If you’re late home from work, and there’s no one in sight. If you haven’t charged your phone and no one knows where you are. If the footsteps behind you are getting closer, and you know, because you do it every day, that you’re on your own; that between the platform and the exit you won’t see another soul. If there’s breath on your neck, and the panic is rising, and it’s dark, and cold, and wet. If it’s just the two of you. Just you, and whoever’s behind you. Whoever is chasing you. How fast could you run then? It doesn’t matter how fast.
Because there’s always someone who can run faster.”
Author: Clare Mackintosh Published: 2016 Pages: 372
This novel is a thriller and has three narratives. The first is from middle-aged mum, Zoe. She sees an advert in the classified section of a newspaper one day, with the face of a woman and the website findtheone.com, seemingly some kind of dating agency. However, a few days later, Zoe notices worrying similarities between the girl in the advert and a murder victim on the TV. The second narrative is Kelly; a policewoman with a penchant for breaking the rules, and, after hearing Zoe’s story, she refuses to dismiss the connection between the advert and the murder victim. Finally, peppered throughout Zoe and Kelly’s narratives, is a little insight into the mind of the person behind it all. A clue into their motivation and determination not to get caught. The book centres on Zoe and Kelly’s hunt to find and stop whoever is putting adverts in the paper. They try to piece together information and trace the origin of the adverts, but when Zoe flicks through the paper one day and see her own face staring back at her, the whole thing gets chillingly personal.
I See You was recommended to me and, when I first read the blurb, as someone who scares very easily, I was apprehensive about how tense it would be. There were definitely moments which made my heart race, but then I realised that’s exactly what kept me turning the page. Despite being slightly terrified of the twisted killer in the novel, I needed to know who it was, and was desperate to find out. In short, this book was pretty incredible. The suspense throughout was amazing and Mackintosh managed to keep tension in all the right places. She created characters with their own individual quirks and constantly dropped details of their backstories and all the misdemeanours they’ve been guilty of in their life, which successfully cast doubt over the innocence of anyone. It was fantastic because I never saw the ending coming, and that’s exactly what you need in a thriller.
I really loved the character of Kelly; she was so sure of herself and determined to find justice for the women who had been victims of the findtheone.com campaign. I loved that she was willing to bend the rules to seek out the criminals and allow justice to prevail. I also love her reasons for joining the police force and the personal struggle she had to deal with in the face of the finetheone.com case. Zoe was also interesting in her own way; her relationship with her children seemed plausible and realistic and it was nice to see a character who was just trying to do the best they could for their family.
Overall, the ending was incredible, the novel was so fast-paced and well written, and, to say I was on the edge of my seat, is an understatement. Mackintosh certainly knows how to write. She successfully exposed the twisted and manipulative mind of a killer while also proving that they don’t always win.
p.s. I recently picked up I Let You Go, at the Sue Ryder Hospice in Nettlebed, so I can’t wait to start that!