watching you

The incomparable Michael Robotham brings back psychologist Joe O’Loughlin, one of Auntie M’s favorite creations, along with his friend, ex-cop Vincent Ruiz, in another stunner. Watching You introduces Marnie Logan, a woman in desperate shape after the disappearance of her husband thirteen months before.

With Daniel’s assets frozen, and unable to obtain have him declared dead to collect his life insurance, Marnie’s financially strapped, behind in her rent, and has just pawned the family’s television to pay for groceries. Her teenage daughter, Zoe, doesn’t understand why Daniel abandoned them. Her younger son, Elijah, a sickly boy with an imaginary friend, just knows that he misses his dad.

Then there’s the other issue: Marnie feeling she’s constantly being watched, something she can’t shake, like a shadow that disappears when she turns. To complicate matters, Daniel owes a huge gambling debt, which a signed contract shows Marnie to be liable for; she finds herself briefly working as an escort under duress. At least she’ll have a few pounds to pay the electric bill, but she’s still two months behind in their rent.

Reasonably depressed, her desperation increases, and she turns to clinical psychologist O’Loughlin for help. In his search to help Marnie, O’Loughlin uncovers Daniels’ Big Red Book; a collection of photos, interviews and anecdotes from Marnie’s past that Daniel was collating as a birthday surprise. It becomes the springboard O’Loughlin and Ruiz will use to investigate Daniel’s last days.

Things turn on their head when it soon becomes obvious that any one who crossed Marnie Logan in her life has been harmed in some terrible way. And O’Loughlin has just put himself in the sights of this personal crusader.

Robotham builds suspense and keeps readers connected with his masterful storytelling. In this case, nothing is quite as it seems on the surface, and the twists and twist-backs at the end will leave O’Loughin startled and the reader surprised. This is one you won’t want to put down. Highly recommended.