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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Watching You (Joe O'loughlin 6)
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on 25 September 2017
Creepy and really thought provoking I found this read to be. Really enjoying reading books by this author and this one is dark creepy and had me looking over my shoulder on more than one occasion. No loose ends and for me with keeping me gripped all the way through it made it one of the best reads by Michael Robotham. Yes the blurb says quite a bit about the book but once reading it you realise it will be going somewhere where maybe you don't want it to go but no stopping it.
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on 2 August 2014
Couldn't Put it down - one of his best books in my opinion. Great characterisation and it keeps you guessing right up to the end.
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on 16 May 2017
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on 27 October 2013
Michael Robotham's forte is writing psychological crime thrillers. Watching You is another enthralling, gripping and compelling piece of novel. Without wasting time, the author sets the tone of the novel. We are introduced to a mysterious character known as Marnie. The atmosphere can be described as dark and sombre. Strange and unfortunate events are affecting her life. She becomes increasingly depressed and isolated. She seeks the help of top clinical psychologist Joe O'Loughlin, a familiar character in previous novels. The subject area of psychology is highly complex. It has been simplified throughout the novel. The author has done extensive research on the area. The subject matter helps us to gain a deep understanding of what triggers human behaviour.The matter becomes relevant in a police investigation. The novel kept me glued for the long periods, as my curiosity grows flipping every page. I found the novel absorbing and thrilling from start to end. Robotham continues to impress, with every novel he publishes.
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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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 August 2015
I've only recently discovered Michael Robotham's series featuring psychologist Joe O'Loughlin. Watching You is number six and reads well as a standalone ( I bought the Audible version).

Simple premise, journalist husband goes missing leaving huge gambling debts. His wife Marnie turns to 'escort services' to make ends meet as all marital assets are frozen. Her pimp dies. Who killed him, why is this death linked to other people in Marnie's life who have disappeared or died? Marnie has had some mental health issues in the past and her narration is unreliable. This adds real complexity as the body count mounts and events start to spiral out of control. The shadowy third party account adds to the suspense as an unknown but involved voice adds their version of events.

This is a series with real depth; great characters and a plot that raises the pulse on occasion as it twists and turns in the most unexpected ways. And I loved the final twist at the end. One of the best psychological crime thriller series around at the moment and I'll be reading all.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 24 November 2013
Marnie Logan often feels like she's being watched. Nothing she can quite put her finger on -- a whisper of breath on the back of her neck, or a shadow in the corner of her eye -- and now her life is frozen. Her husband Daniel has been missing for more than a year. Depressed and increasingly desperate, she seeks the help of clinical psychologist Joe O'Loughlin.

So I'm a huge fan of the Joe O'Loughlin books from Michael Robotham so I was very much looking forward to this one (And hoping that Ruiz would be involved so YAY!) and it didnt disappoint.

Marnie has some godawful problems - a loan shark on her tale, a missing husband and a distinct lack of funds are making for a pretty poor existance. Struggling to cope she turns to Joe for help with her depression...and as things develop it becomes apparent that there is more going on in Marnie's life than initially meets the eye.

One of the strengths of these novels is Mr Robothams ability to write multi layered, psychologically intriguing characters not only with his main protagonists but with those they encounter along the way - even peripheral or secondary characters have a certain depth to them and this makes every story different enough that the series never becomes dull.

Certainly he has managed that here with Marnie, a damaged yet sympathetic woman who has had some major curveballs thrown at her in this game we call life and yet manages to still be standing, albeit rather unsteadily. You will feel for her and want things to start going her way.

The story twists and turns, keeping you on your toes and you will metaphorically cheer when at last Ruiz turns up to keep Joe on the ball and offer some practical support - Joe's own ongoing battle with Parkinsons disease ( an extremely authentic developing character arc) continues to cause him problems and frankly he could do with the help.

Ok so as usual for me I had it all in my head fairly easily as we went along and I was correct in all my assumptions but still I bow to Mr Robothams superior storytelling skills when it comes to turning things on their head at various points and giving me reason to doubt myself.

All in all if you love these novels you will also love this one - the writing standard is as high as it has ever been and it was a highly enjoyable reading experience once more. Whilst there are references to previous events, you could easily pick this one up and read it as a standalone - although personally, as ever, I would say start at the beginning if you are new to this author - that would be "The Suspect".

Happy Reading Folks!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 6 January 2016
First Sentence: When Marnie Logan was fourteen she dreamed of marrying Johnny Depp of Jason Priestly and living happily ever after in a house with a Gone-with-the-Wind staircase and a double-fridge full of Mars Bars.

Psychologist Joe O’Loughlin’s patient, Marnie Logan, is trying to put her life together after the disappearance of her husband, Daniel. She trying to have him declared dead so she can access his bank account and life insurance for her, and her daughter’s survival. Otherwise, her only choice has been to perform as a call girl. As Joe, with the help of ex-cop Vincent Ruiz, works to help Marnie, he starts to realize that other people around her have disappeared/been murdered. Is it Marnie, or is there someone else?

Robotham immediately captures the reader’s attention with a very creepy opening. He also creates very vivid characters. Marnie is interesting in that one doesn’t really like or trust her. Ruiz is the classic tough copper; you’d definitely what him on your side. Yet it is Joe who is the most interesting. He is not without his own baggage, which makes him human; and has a degenerative medical condition. It is Ruiz who describes him best—“You’re made differently from most men. …You understand more than most people. You look harder. You care more. You let things bruise your soul and question what’s wrong with humanity,…”.

The plot is suspenseful, increasingly so. There is a major, very effective, plot twist one does not see coming. But one also questions whether it is true. Robotham also includes fascinating information on the psychology of stalkers versus voyeurs.

“Watching You” is a wonderful, suspenseful read with a shocking turn, and an ending that leaves you questioning.

WATCHING YOU (Psy Suspense–Joe O’Laughlin-England-Contemp) - VG
Robotham, Michael
Mulholland Books – Feb 2015
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on 24 July 2014
I made the mistake of buying the audio version.Whoever had prepared the disk they failed to enter the audio text in its proper sequence.
As an example,when an audio comes to the end of the story there is the usual message saying we hope you enjoyed the audio. In my audio this message was spoken approximately 1 hour before the end of the disks, to be followed by disjointed sections of the remaining text
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 17 March 2014
It's no secret that I love mystery and thriller novels. When asked for recommendations at the library, Michael Robotham is an author I often suggest. This Aussie author is one you definitely want to put on your must read list. His latest North American release is Watching You - and it'll have you sitting up late reading just one more chapter - and drawing the curtains. This is the seventh book featuring recurring character Joe O'Loughlin - a clinical psychologist.

Marnie Logan is struggling - her husband has disappeared, she has inherited his massive gambling debts and has two children to look after. She's at her wit's end, but things are about to get even worse.

"I am the most important figure in Marnie's life, but she doesn't know it yet. I am the half-figure at the edge of her photographs and the shadow in the corner of her eye that vanishes each time she turns her head. I am the ghost that dances behind her closed lids and the darkness that blinks when she blinks. I am her nameless champion, her unheralded hero, and the conductor of her symphony. I am the one who watches."

Creepy, creepy, creepy.

I started out feeling sorry for Marnie, then frightened for her, then...... well, Robotham is a master manipulator. Just when I thought I had the story figured out, he surprised me. In the acknowledgments at the end of the book he says..."Each time I finish a novel I think, that's it - I'm all out of ideas, characters, plot twists and one-liners." Sometimes I think along the same lines - that I've read so many thrillers, that I'll be able to figure things out long before the last page. Definitely, not the case with Watching You. The plotting was deliciously clever, was completely unpredictable and turned ever assumption I had made upside down. The ending is a nice little gotcha too.

Robotham also brings back retired police Detective Vincent Ruiz. He and O'Louglin are a favourite duo, each bringing a different outlook on the crimes and criminals they pursue.

The story is told from many narratives, each giving a different look at what is going on. But the most chilling is that of the watcher. What could be more frightening than someone watching you - and you're unaware of it? Robotham takes this frightening premise to a whole new level. And kinda makes you wonder who's watching you - that person on the bus, the car at the stoplight....?

Watching You is a five star absolutely recommended read for thriller fans. If you read Linwood Barclay and Harlan Coben, you'll like Robotham.
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