Last year I read I Let You Go, Clare Mackintosh’s first novel, and I loved it. If you want to read my review of that book, you can do so here. Since I loved that book so much, when I heard that Clare wrote another one, I knew that I had to pick up a copy. So that is exactly what I did and I am so happy.
I See You by Clare Mackintosh is one of the most (if not the most) chilling books I have ever read in my life. I know I have read mysteries before and there have been really good ones, but I think the story with this one is what put it over the edge.
For those who may not know, I See You is about a woman, Zoe Walker, who sees a photo of herself in the classifieds of the newspaper. Only, she did not place that ad. Soon, she figures out that other women have had their photos in versions of that same ad. Things take a turn for the worse when these women begin to fall victim to crime. At first, it was just stolen keys. Next, it was rape and murder.
I See You brings to light something I think women might find all too familiar, whether or not it was intentional. I know that I have been wary of walking even from the bus stop to my place, especially at night, when someone else gets off the bus after me. I always want to be home before dark as much as I can because in the back of my mind something makes me nervous. I know some of my friends always ask me to text them when I get home. My parents have done this before as well. I think women often find themselves feeling wary about many things men don’t. I hate that it’s like this, and I know most women do as well. But it is also very real.
Like in I Let You Go, Clare chose to switch perspectives in this book. I think this is a massive strength for I See You. You get to see Zoe Walker’s perspective as well as the police investigation portion of the text. Both of these are valuable to the overall story. They do offer their own chilling aspects, but there is one thing that trumps them. You get pieces of insight into the mind of a clearly twisted individual. I do not want to tell you much more than that, for fear of reducing any of the punch, but believe me when I tell you that the addition of these short pieces of insight really work for the story. They honestly chilled me to the bone.
I also really enjoyed how you get to know the main characters as people. Clare made them seem like real humans to me rather than just fictional characters. They have believable backstories, both as individuals and with the people in their lives.
I think, beyond the chilled feeling I got from this story, perhaps the thing I liked the most was how I never guessed the ending. I found myself switching back and forth between characters. This included ones we met very early in the text as well as those we met much later on.
When I closed this book, I whispered “holy shit” to myself. Whether you have loved reading mysteries for a long time, or have never read one before, I would recommend this book to you. When you finish reading it, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts. Be wary about spoiling it for others in your comment. In the same vein, try not to sneak a peek at the comments if you have not read it yet.
Title: I See You
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Publisher: Penguin Random House