I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll
Rating: 3.5 stars
This page turning mystery is about the circumstances relating to a missing 16 year old girl who traveled to London with her best friend one year in the past. We start on the train where Ella, “the witness,” sees two teenage girls flirting with two men who were just released from prison. Her mothering nature kicks in and she thinks she should try to figure out who these girls are and warn their parents that they might be up to no good. She ignores that instinct and feels haunting regret the next day when the news reports one of those girls has disappeared. Each chapter of this story is told between the varying perspectives of Ella – the witness, Henry – the father of Anna, the missing girl, Sarah – the friend, Matthew – the private investigator, and occasional interludes by the “watcher.” The bulk of the book takes place around the one year anniversary of Anna’s disappearance when everyone is hoping with renewed interest Anna will be discovered.
Every single chapter in this book ended with a mini cliffhanger. They kept me reading late into the night, even though I could barely keep my eyes open. I like the shift of perspectives and learning more about what could have happened and who might have been to blame, but I ultimately found all of the characters a little bit dull. I thought the main premise around Ella’s guilt was slightly ridiculous. Why would anyone think it was their responsibility to hunt down parents of total strangers she sees across a train car just to basically tattle on them? If they were a lot younger, then maybe…? It was interesting to see how each of the characters found blame in their own actions and thought they might be the reason Anna disappeared, even if they might have truly had nothing to do with it. While the cliffhangers definitely kept my attention, about halfway through I became frustrated with how they never really went anywhere. You’re left in suspense, but nothing is ever answered until the final pages of the book. I wish we had been given a bit more satisfaction after so much enticement earlier in the story. Maybe elaborate and eliminate a couple of the suspects along the way.
Overall, I thought this was a pretty decent mystery. There were a couple of twists and turns you’re not expecting. It’s a fast read and keeps your attention. It’s not one of my favorite books, but I recommend it if you like that genre.