Review: Watching You - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

The instant New York Times and #1 Sunday Times bestselling author of the “riveting thriller” (PopSugarThen She Was Gone delivers another suspenseful page-turner about a shocking murder in a picturesque and well-to-do English town, perfect “for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, and Luckiest Girl Alive” (Library Journal).

Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighborhoods 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…

Book Type:

Psychological Suspense / Domestic Drama

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Watching You
By Lisa Jewell

Review: Watching You

Dark secrets come to light in the aftermath of a brutal murder in Lisa Jewell’s WATCHING YOU.

Jewell probes into the lives of those who live in Bristol’s upscale Melville neighborhood—a row of highly coveted, Victorian homes whose colorful exteriors hide the dark and twisted secrets of those who inhabit them.

We meet a cast of compelling characters starting with Joey Mullen. She’s just returned from Ibiza married to a man she met at a resort, and now they’re both moving in with her brother Jack and his expectant wife, Rebecca.

Joey is trying to sort out her life, including the wisdom of her quickie marriage. She becomes more unsettled when she finds herself infatuated with neighbor Tom Fitzwilliam, head teacher at the local school. Tom seems to be the man everyone either idolizes or covets, except for his son Freddie, who spends his time watching and photographing Melville’s inhabitants, documenting their comings and goings. His relationship with his dad is strained, especially seeing how his mom Nicola’s life revolves around her husband, their arguments spiraling her into deep depressions.

16-year-old Jenna is one of Tom’s students and her mentally ill mom is convinced Fitzwilliam is hiding secrets, convinced they’re after her. Jenna doesn’t idolize Tom like everybody else, including her best friend, who she suspects may be having an inappropriate relationship with him.

Everyone is watching each other and everyone is hiding secrets. One of those secrets leads to police finding a dead body on the kitchen floor of the Fitzwilliam home.

The various characters and their histories, lives tangle together cleverly, making each a viable suspect.

Well-paced, propulsive and haunting, this domestic drama kept me rapt, packing chilling surprises until the very end. Fans of Liane Moriarty, Ruth Ware, Fiona Barton will love it.

As first seen on USA Today


Date: 03/25/2017

Location: Trinity Road Police Station, Bristol BS2 0NW Conducted by: Officers from Avon & Somerset Police


POLICE: This interview is being tape-recorded. I am Detective Inspector Rose Pelham and I’m based at Trinity Road Police Station. I work with the serious crime team. Could you please give us your full name?

JM: Josephine Louise Mullen.

POLICE: And your address?

JM: 14 Melville Heights, Bristol BS12 2GG.

POLICE: Thank you. And can you tell us about your relationship with Tom Fitzwilliam?

JM: He lives two doors down. He gave me a lift into work sometimes. We chatted if we bumped into each other on the street. He knew my brother and my sister-in-law.

POLICE: Thank you. And could you now tell us where you were last night between approximately 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

JM: I was at the Bristol Harbour Hotel.

POLICE: And were you there alone?

JM: Mostly.

POLICE: Mostly? Who else was there with you?

JM: [Silence.]

POLICE: Ms. Mullen? Please could you tell us who else was there? At the Bristol Harbour Hotel?

JM: But he was only there for a few minutes.

Nothing happened. It was just . . .

POLICE: Ms. Mullen. The name of this person.


JM: It was . . . it was Tom Fitzwilliam.



January 6

Joey saw Tom Fitzwilliam again a few days later. This time it was in the village. He was coming out of the bookshop, wearing a suit and talking to someone on the phone. He said good-bye to the person on the phone, pressed his finger to the screen to end the call, and slid the phone into his jacket pocket. She saw his face as he turned left out of the shop. It held the residue of a smile. His upturned mouth made a different shape of his face. It turned up more on one side than the other. An eyebrow followed suit. A hand went to his silver- tipped hair as the wind blew it asunder. The smile turned to a grimace and made another shape of his face again. His jaw hardened. His forehead bunched. A slow blink of his eyes. And then he was walking toward his black car parked across the street, a blip blip of the locking system, a flash of lights, long legs folded away into the driver’s side. Gone.

But a shadow of him lingered on in her consciousness.

Alfie had been a crush. For months she’d watched him around the resort, made up stories about him based on tiny scraps of information she’d collected from people who’d interacted with him. No one knew where he was from. Someone thought he might have been a writer. Someone else said he was a vet. He’d had long hair then, dark red, tied back in a ponytail or sometimes a man-bun. He had a small red beard and a big fit body, a tattoo of a climbing rose all the way up his trunk, another of a pair of wings across his shoulders. He often had a guitar hanging from a strap around his chest. He rarely wore a top when he wasn’t working. He had a smile for everyone, a swagger and a cheek.

In Joey’s imagination, Alfie Butter was kind of otherworldly; she ascribed to him a sort of supernatural persona, and tried to imagine what they would talk about if their paths were ever to cross. Then one day he’d stopped her at the back of the resort next to the laundry and his blue, blue eyes had locked onto hers and he’d smiled and said, “Joey, right?”

She’d said yes, she was Joey.

“Someone tells me you’re a Bristol girl. Is that right?” Yes, she’d said, yes, that was right.

“Whereabouts?” “Frenchay?”

He’d punched the air. “I knew it!” he’d said. “I just knew it! You know when you get that feeling in your gut, and someone said you were from Bristol and I just thought Frenchay girl. Got to be. And I was right! I’m a Frenchay boy!”

Wow, she’d said, wow. It was a small, small world, she’d told him.

Which school did you go to?

And Alfie had turned out to be neither supernatural nor other- worldly, a vet nor a poet, nor even very good at playing the guitar, but spectacularly good in bed and a very good hugger. He’d had her name tattooed on his ankle two weeks after their first encounter. He said he’d never felt like this about anyone, in his life, ever. He slung his heavy arm across her shoulder whenever they walked together. He pulled her onto his lap whenever she walked past him. He said he’d follow her to the ends of the earth. Then, when her mother died and she said she wanted to come home, he said he’d follow her back to Bristol. He’d proposed to her after she returned from her mother’s funeral. They’d married two weeks after that.

But what do you do with an unattainable crush once it’s yours to keep? What does it become? Should there perhaps be a word to describe it? Because that’s the thing with getting what you want: all that yearning and dreaming and fantasizing leaves a great big hole that can only be filled with more yearning and dreaming and fantasizing. And maybe that’s what lay at the root of Joey’s sudden and unexpected obsession with Tom Fitzwilliam. Maybe he arrived at the precise moment that the hole in Joey’s interior fantasy life needed filling.

And if it hadn’t been him, maybe it would have been someone else instead.

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One Comment:

  1. MCLatorre said:

    Priceless Design Studio, thanks so much for the post.Really thank you! Keep writing.


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