Watching You

Lisa Jewell. Atria, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-1-5011-9007-0
In the prologue of this crafty conundrum from bestseller Jewell (Then She Was Gone), a dead body lies on the kitchen floor of the Fitzwilliam family’s Victorian house in a posh neighborhood of Bristol, England. The author smoothly juggles multiple story lines—some dating back 20 years—centering on paterfamilias Tom Fitzwilliam. For some reason, the now middle-aged, nationally honored schoolmaster seems to effortlessly bewitch women and girls alike, among them his slavishly solicitous wife, Nicola; increasingly paranoid stalker Frances Tripp, the mother of one of his students, 15-year-old Jenna; and Jenna’s best friend, Bess Ridley, who has a schoolgirl crush on him. While all the people watching Tom facilitate the serpentine plot, they’re also the novel’s weakest link, since their respective obsessions remains baffling and at times border on the tedious. That said, prepare to be blindsided by the murder victim’s identity, not revealed until late in the game—and an even more stunning final surprise. Jewell does a masterly job of maintaining suspense. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider Literary. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/08/2018
Release date: 01/15/2019
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5082-6862-8
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-6688-4
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-5011-9008-7
Library Binding - 978-1-4328-6043-1
Paperback - 978-1-4328-6906-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-79710-136-1
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