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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
I am a huge Jessica Daniels fan so it was with a mixture of interest and trepidation I started to read Kerry's move away from JD. I was hooked from page one. This book really affected me and I was really concerned about the main characters. It is so thought provoking that I was thinking about the book whilst I wasn't reading it - esp when I cut someone up at a junction and he made a rather rude gesture at me!! I was in a constant state of fear whilst reading it, its not a common occurrence that a book affects me so deeply. I finished it late last night and was initially rather surprised/disappointed at the sudden ending. Too tired by then to leave a review I decided to do it in the morning. I am so pleased I did this as upon reflection I have changed my mind and realised that in fact this was the perfect ending for the story and a master stroke by Mr Wilkinson. I cannot imagine another way that the book to end and its rather refreshing not to have a standard but convoluted happy ending.
Highly recommended which is why I gave it 5 stars - just don't expect an easy read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2014
`Watched' by Kerry Wilkinson is a tension-charged thriller which demonstrates how easy it is for an individual to turn another person's life miserable in so many different ways.

After two years living with her rather irritating parents, Esther and her husband Charlie Pooley have at last moved into their new dream home. The house, situated in another town, still needs a complete makeover but the Pooleys are happy to finally have their own space, their love nest. Charlie is also starting an exciting new job.

One day, whilst Esther is driving through the as yet unfamiliar roads in that area, she is involved in an accidental and harrowing run-in with a local thug, Dougie Jamieson. He follows her in his car, threatens her and leaves her terrorised. This encounter will prove pivotal for her and her husband as from then on their lives spiral out of control, their happiness is shattered and they will never be the same again.

To everyone in that community, Dougie Jamieson is positively recognised for his award winning work with disabled children. For the Pooleys he proves to be the incarnation of the devil himself as he will literally turn their lives to hell.

Living close by, Dougie and his partner Leah turn their mischievous attention on the Pooleys and begin to inflict all imaginable forms of bullying and vandalism on them and their property. The severity of this victimisation escalates gradually from hung up calls and rubbish dumped on their driveway to such an extent where the victims even doubt their very own sanity.

Will the bullying ever cease? To which extremes will it arrive? Will the Pooleys ever manage to defeat Dougie and live happily in their new home? How far is Charlie ready to go to safeguard his wife?

Short chapters with alternating Esther's and Charlie's p.o.v. make this an easy and enjoyable read. The suspense increases from one chapter to the next until the last chapter is reached which in my opinion is the strongest of all. Certainly I didn't expect and was really surprised by the final abrupt twist. Unlike some other readers who may have not, I understood the ending and made my mind on who did what, but still, though believable, I felt it to be a little exaggerated for this story. Some elements may be somewhat repetitive, however being free from any extreme gore or sex scenes which may disturb some readers, this is a very good read and I recommend it to everyone.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 22 November 2013
I love Kerry Wilkinson's Jessica Daniels series and I was excited to read Watched, his new stand alone book. It features Esther and Charlie Pooley who moved into their first house together. On her first day and whilst out shopping, Esther accidentally cut off a fellow motorist, her actions of which has lead to the most unimaginable case of bullying and victimisation. From overturned bins and stolen laundry, to outright vandalism, assault and defamation of character, each attack on the Pooleys escalate to unbelievable proportions. This is the kind of book that is gripping and terrifying in equal measures. I found myself very uncomfortable reading it as it is so easy to empathise with Esther and Charlie and how a case of road rage could escalate and get so badly out of hand. And on the other hand, it's a book you just want to continue reading as it's too gripping to ignore. I found the ending could have been more conclusive as I still don't understand the underlying motivations of the bullies and it seems that something is missing. But overall, it's a great book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2013
Finished this book just a minute ago and felt compelled to get my iPad out and write a review.

I read many books, and have previously enjoyed each of Kerry Wilkinson's Jessica Daniel books. To be honest, I continue to read them more out of habit than anything else. They are easy to read, fun and a good piece of light entertainment. When Kerry tweeted out that he was releasing a new stand alone book, I thought, "why not?" and I pre ordered it.

This book has changed me as a person, that's all I can say. This is one of the better books I have read in years, in that it has been all I could think about since I started it. I found myself looking for a few minutes here and there to fit in another chapter, desperte to find out what fresh atrocities the vile Dougie would unleash on the helpless Esther and Charlie.

Some have called the book unbelievable. I personally found this book incredibly believable. It made me think what what you do if this happened to me and my wife? I would undoubtedly make it worse, just like Charlie did.

Some people have called the book morbid and lacking in light heartedness. To me, that is a positive, not a negative. Having no Hollywood happy ending, or indeed any moment of relief kept the blood pressure up and the panic flowing through my system. I felt like I was actually there, locking and unlocking the windows, running down the street, sweating in my suit. Yes, it is intense, but that is what makes the book work.

Such a simple story, no "bows and all" happy ending; this book simply serves up worry, intensity and concern and it serves them up in bucket loads. Whilst you wouldn't want to read a plethora of novels like this, unless you want to feel constantly miserable that is, Watched is an excellent alternative if you are after something a little different and something which leaves you feeling completely and utterly helpless.

Highly recommended.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 15 November 2013
This is based on a preview copy I received a few weeks ago...

I wasn't sure what to expect with this Kerry Wilkinson book. As an avid Jessica Daniels reader I was wondering if the magic would be lost when stepping away. This is a very different book, set in Manchester and about a couple who move into a new area and one chance encounter changes their lives forever.

The premise works very well, believable to the point of haunting. It took a bit longer to get into than previous books by this author, but having read his other books I was willing to persist. This does pay off as you are lead through twists and turns, some you see coming and other surprise. At one point it feels like watching the build up and impact of a car crash; you know it is coming, want to look away, but need to know.

My "does it engage the reader" test was passed - nearly missing my tube stop a couple of times, so be careful!

It is on my must re-read list.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2014
Enjoyed book throughout gripping and exciting but a complete let down at the end. Now don't understand the story at all. Totally gutted with the ending completely ruined the whole experience
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 11 January 2014
THIS BOOK WAS OK. I JUST FELT A BIT DISAPPOINTED WITH THE ENDING A BIT OF A ANTI CLIMAX .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 January 2014
I read this in an evening, transfixed by the building terror. It's a tough read in that it's so easy to picture. This isn't a story about superhuman, bulletproof characters; police officers or anyone else with protection behind them. These are real people - your neighbours, mine. I've read some of the other reviews and it's clear this is a bit of a Marmite book. I can understand why some wouldn't like it - it's bleaker, peering behind the layers of who people are.

Are `bad guys' bad because they have clear motives, or simply because they enjoy it? Visit a court, read the papers and it's clear that some people enjoy being nasty to others because they can. To pretend differently, in my eyes, is naivety.

This lays bare that darkness and, though I'm not sure I'd want to read too much in a similar vein, it was perfect for what it was.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2014
I am retired and read a lot of crime fiction as a form of relaxation in the evening before going to bed. When I am reading for relaxation I prefer books with a beginning a middle and a clear end. I have read several Jessica Daniels books by this author and enjoyed them. I looked forward to reading what was described as a departure from his usual style.

I think this is a book readers will have very definite opinions about. I was disappointed. I thought the idea merited a short story rather than a full length book.In the second half of the book the plot was wearing thin. The two main female characters were reasonably developed but none of the others were. I found the ending bizarre and was left wondering whether the intention was to write further books on what happened to the main characters next.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 2014
I have read all of the previous books written by this author and thoroughly enjoyed them so was a little surprised with this effort. (I have given either 4 or 5 out of 5 for all the others!) The ending was pants!! One of the short comings of reading on Kindle is that you're not always aware when the book is ending. I was really getting into the book and was at the stage when I couldn't wait to read the next chapter . I turned the page to find the words "The End". Most annoyed and the story didn't give you enough clues to make you own assumptions as to what was happening. (unless there's a sequel!). Wouldn't stop me buying the next in the library though! (but conclude the story next time!)
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