I See You –
The BOLO Books Review (UK Edition)

Clare Mackintosh made herself a household name with just one book. Her debut novel, I Let You Go, has a twist that kept everyone talking and continues to sell the book to this day. The accolades and awards that continue to follow certainly aren’t hurting, either. Yesterday, Mackintosh released her second novel, I See You, and not only will her fans be satisfied, she is bound to add to that growing legion with this contemporary thriller.

I See You is the story of Zoe Walker. During her public transit commute to work one day, Zoe happens to see a classified ad in the local newspaper. The ad only contains a website, phone number, and strangest of all, a grainy photograph of Zoe herself. Freaked out, confused, and scared, Zoe seeks out the advice of her husband, friends, and the police – all of whom are unconvinced that the picture is actually of Zoe.

But as the days pass, the ad continues to run in the newspaper, each day with a different woman’s photograph used. It’s only when the police discover a series of crimes that may have a connection to these ads that Zoe’s claims are legitimized. Zoe can only hope that it is not too late.

Clare Mackintosh keeps the suspense high and the questions and revelations coming though this very modern story. I See You is very much a novel of the moment – a thriller confronting today’s trend of disconnecting from true social interaction in favor of a world filled with anonymity.

Zoe Walker is the perfect guide through this landscape. She is a family-focused, working woman who is confident and insecure simultaneously. Her husband Simon is supportive, while her children act like typical young adults – Justin, the oldest, is taking on more job responsibilities after a period of delinquency; and daughter, Katie, continues to express her independence and maturity, albeit not always in the safest of ways.

The other point-of-view in I See You comes from Kelly Swift, the transport police officer who begins to believe Zoe’s story and does everything she can to make sure she is assigned to the case. Kelly suffers from elements of PTSD stemming from a long-ago situation involving her sister. This has led to some career-defining disciplinary action and Kelly believes she may be able to redeem herself by uncovering the truth behind these advertisements.

Speaking of which, the inclusion of these ads in the tale make for a very unnerving reading experience – especially for those with very public commutes to work. The story behind them is plausible and readers will likely look at fellow strangers on public transit very differently upon finishing I See You. In our digital world, it is easy to get lulled into a sense of anonymity and privacy. Leave it to Clare Mackintosh to shatter that idyllic fantasy forever.

I See You only further solidifies Clare Mackintosh as an author to watch. There is no telling what she is going to offer readers next.