My heart was beating in my mouth the whole time when devouring I See You.
Protagonist Zoe Walker, a forty-something mother of two teenage kids, makes her way home from a job she hates. She takes the same route every day. When she eventually finds a seat in a pack carriage, she flicks through the evening paper to find a picture of herself in the classified ads section, with just a website address – findtheone.com. Seeing her own photo published without her knowledge throws Zoe off, as it would any other person.
Once returned home, her family all try to persuade her it is nothing but a freaky look alike. But she knows, and we know and some mysterious, sinister third party who speaks in italics knows, that is it indeed Zoe’s picture.
Shortly after, Zoe sees a similar ad, only this time with a picture of another woman. When that woman is found strangled in Muswell Hill, days later, Zoe is on the phone to the police.
Kelly Swift, a disgraced detective who has been sent to the gulag of transport policing for some misconduct (she attacked a child molester during an interview) and who badly needs her a chance to redeem herself. With Zoe’s lead about the classified ads, Kelly gets it and elbows her way back on to the murder investigation.
Findtheone.com is a bizarre dating tool that is a tormented way for men to try and date women. The unseen orchestrator of the website, who is often voices in italics is relentlessly creepy and heightens the build up of tension within the plot.
Mackintosh builds a convincing and complex emotional backstory for both Zoe and Kelly throwing enough teasing red herrings to leave us vaguely suspicious of everyone in their lives. In Zoe’s case, her boyfriend isn’t all he says he is, her kids are roving to be a handful, her ex is devoted to her but is odd and her boss is a living nightmare.
I See You is a clever and plausible thriller, which has all the right ingredients to make it a gripping read. Mackintosh takes a subject, which everyone can relate to: commuting, and makes us see the mundane act of getting into work in a completely different light. Your fellow commuters might be just that, or then again, they might not be. The daily commute to and from work will never be the same again.
A cleverly thought out book that will give you the chills. I’d recommended to anyone that wants to be hooked from the very first chapter.
I See You, Mackintosh’s second novel, was published in 2016 by Sphere, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group. Her debut novel, I Let You Go is a Sunday Times bestseller.