Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy and disturbing..., 4 April 2014
This review is from: Watching You (Joe O'loughlin) (Kindle Edition)
Marnie's husband disappeared a year ago, leaving a huge gambling debt to a violent gangster. Hennessy is insisting that the debt is now Marnie's and he's got his own ideas of how she should earn enough to pay it back. So although she doesn't want to give up hope of her husband's return, Marnie needs to have him declared dead so she can claim the insurance money and get Hennessy out of her life. But the reader knows that someone is watching Marnie - someone who doesn't like it when anyone hurts her...

This is a creepy and disturbing psychological thriller that is much more complex than it looks at first sight. I haven't read any of Robotham's other novels, but I gather from the blurb that Marnie's psychologist, Joe O'Loughlin, has appeared in earlier books. However, this works perfectly as a standalone, with enough information given on the recurring characters for the reader to get to know them and not so much referring back to previous books as to be annoying. When Marnie tells Joe about her need to have Daniel declared dead, Joe asks his friend, ex-detective Vincent Ruiz, to help. But when Ruiz starts investigating, he finds that there have been many odd events in Marnie's past and begins to wonder if she knows more about Daniel's disappearance than she's letting on.

The book is very well-written and Robotham leads the reader on a twisting and twisted journey, full of ambiguity and false trails. The characterisation is particularly strong, and both Joe and Ruiz are attractive and enjoyable characters. Marnie is a complicated character, sometimes gaining the reader's sympathy and support while at other times the reader joins with Ruiz in wondering if there's another hidden side to her. There's quite a lot of violence in the book, but it mainly happens 'off-screen' so adds to the chill factor without being too graphic. The story is told mainly in the third person (present tense, sadly, but aren't they all?), but there are brief chapters intercut throughout, told in the first person from the watcher's viewpoint. These add hugely to the tension in the book, which builds right from the beginning through to the drama of the ending. And throughout, nothing is necessarily quite what it seems to be...

Tense and chilling, the plot kept me guessing right to the end - the twists are done at just the right points to keep the pace up all the way through. There are aspects that stretch credulity but they're handled well enough that they don't jar. An effective and enjoyable thriller that will encourage me to look out for more of Robotham's books in future.

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Little, Brown and Company.
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Initial post: 6 Apr 2014 11:30:06 BDT
Bookworm says:
Very good review Fictionfan, can't wait to read it.
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FictionFan
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

Location: Kirkintilloch, Scotland

Top Reviewer Ranking: 69