cover image Because I’m Watching

Because I’m Watching

Christina Dodd. St. Martin’s, $26.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-02845-7

In Dodd’s intriguing third Virtue Falls contemporary romance (after Obsession Falls), traumatized and disreputable Madeline Hewitson is the author of bestselling thrillers—but they are published under a pseudonym, and her brother, Andrew, is the public face of the author. Maddie’s fear-driven inspiration began when she was the sole survivor of a mass killing while she was a college student; later, two years before her move to Virtue Falls, Wash., she was cleared of suspicion in the unsolved murder of her lover, Easton. Text messages interspersed throughout the narrative reveal that someone is committed to keeping her “afraid, insane, malleable.” Military veteran Jacob Denisov endeavors to make his home across the street from Maddie’s into a refuge from the torment of events he and his team suffered in North Korea; when an exhausted Maddie accidentally drives into his front wall, she smashes through his literal and emotional barricades. An engaging cast of Virtue Falls locals adds depth and multiple subplots as the mysteries around Maddie reach unsatisfactory resolutions. Agent: Mel Berger, William Morris Endeavor. (Sept.)