Book Review: Are You Watching Me by Sinead Crowley

July 9, 2015 Book review 10 ★★★★

A vulnerable, sensitive young woman who has hit the headlines for her work in a charity centre is suddenly the target for hate mail. More than hate mail, threatening mail. With its paranoid-inducing title, I couldn’t wait to dive right in to this one.

Book Review: Are You Watching Me by Sinead CrowleyAre You Watching Me by Sinead Crowley
Published by Quercus on July 2nd 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Crime, Family Life, Mystery & Detective, Police Procedural, Suspense
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Dear Elizabeth, I've been watching you. I hope to see you . . .Soon.

Liz Cafferky is on the up. Rescued from her dark past by the owner of a drop-in centre for older men, Liz soon finds herself as the charity's face - and the unwilling darling of the Dublin media. Amidst her claustrophobic fame, Liz barely notices a letter from a new fan.

But then one of the centre's clients is brutally murdered, and Elizabeth receives another, more sinister note. Running from her own ghosts, Liz is too scared to go to the police.

And with no leads, there is little Sergeant Claire Boyle can do to protect her.

First Line of Are You Watching Me by Sinead Crowley:

“She had forgotten how to breathe.”

My Thoughts on Are You Watching Me by Sinead Crowley:

This book features Claire Boyle, the Sergeant who was the central character in Can Anybody Help Me? And it was great to catch up again with this independent, working mother who is struggling to balance the full on demanding and stressful nature of her police job with that of a new mother. And she doesn’t want to be a stay at home mother, she thrives in her chosen profession but work and home are pulling her in very different directions.

The main setting for the book is a drop in centre for older men and I liked how the book highlighted the lack of support for men in society as they get older. Liz is working in the centre and is also the face of the centre in the media. However Liz is hiding some secrets and the unwanted attention makes her jittery and nervous. And then she gets a threatening letter…

I really enjoyed how all the strands of the story came together in this one. At first it seems like the various characters have no common ground but with a bit of digging by Claire, it becomes obvious that lots of the characters have pasts to hide. And those pasts are not staying buried.

This isn’t one of those scary thrillers that frighten the pants off you. Instead it is a quieter book with a relatable setting and a series of events that seem all too plausible. This in the long run is even scarier than those over-the-top unrealistic thrillers.

I liked the contrast between Liz and Claire as the two main female characters. Claire is strong and feisty but with moments of vulnerability. And Liz is the opposite, she is weaker and fragile but with moments of strength. But both are fully rounded, fully developed characters that I thoroughly believed in. Their flaws drew me in and made me want to see both succeed in their own individual challenges.

I thought the mystery was intriguing enough. I had a pretty good idea whodunit but it took me a while to fully slot all the pieces into place. I loved all the secrecy and how we had to travel back a generation to unravel it all. And the pace was spot on as the element of danger and furtive notes kept me turning the pages quickly.

Overall another stellar book from Sinead Crowley. I love the way she mixes up identifiable but thought-provoking settings with realistic characters and an engaging mystery.

 

Rating Report
Characters
four-half-stars
Setting
three-half-stars
Pace
four-stars
Did I feel it?
three-half-stars
Overall: four-stars

 

Who should read Are You Watching Me by Sinead Crowley?

I’d recommend this to fans of psychological thrillers who enjoy unravelling old secrets and who appreciate fully developed characters. Fans of Sarah Hillary, Lindwood Barclay and Lucy Atkins should also enjoy this one.

Thanks to NetGalley and Quercus Books for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

four-stars

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10 Responses to “Book Review: Are You Watching Me by Sinead Crowley”

    • trish

      Well Claire has chosen this as a profession so I suppose I’d expect that! The mystery intrigued me anyway 🙂

    • trish

      Yes, I do think I prefer Can Anybody Help Me as I adored the chatroom theme of that one but this was still a solid follow up.

    • trish

      I loved the unraveling and all the whys behind everything. Hope you enjoy it Katherine, I know you’ll like the Irish setting 🙂

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