cover image The Watcher

The Watcher

Charlotte Link, trans. from the German by Stefan Tobler. Pegasus Crime (Norton, dist.), $25.95 (480p) ISBN 978-1-60598-559-6

Unemployed, socially awkward Samson Segal spends his days spying on neighbors, especially attractive Gillian Ward, in the upscale London suburb of Thorpe Bay. He’s creepy but seemingly harmless—until murder enters the equation, in this tautly plotted psychological thriller, the second by the bestselling German novelist to appear in the U.S. (after 2012’s The Other Child). Tied by forensic evidence to two other recent unsolved slayings, the case quickly becomes a top priority and Samson a prime suspect, once his sister-in-law shows police the voyeuristic diary she has discovered on his computer. But it’s not that simple, thinks John Burton, the handsome former detective inspector, who just began a relationship with the married Gillian and, fearing for her safety, jump-starts his own investigation. As Burton, who is forced to leave Scotland Yard under a cloud, and his former colleagues race to uncover possible connections between the disparate victims that might enable them to catch the killer, Link masterfully builds both character and suspense to a shocking extended climax in a snowy forest. (May)