Watching You

by Lisa Jewell

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LoveReading Expert Review of Watching You

An intense melting pot of suspicion and intrigue, this is an absolute knock-out of a read.

An electrifying and riveting tale, my thoughts and feelings were captured from the moment I opened ‘Watching You’. Joey returns home to Bristol, she soon becomes rather obsessed with an older man, however doesn’t realise that while she is watching him, someone else is watching her. I was absolutely thrilled to hear I would be reviewing Lisa Jewell (sharp elbows and pushing to the front of the queue may have been involved), as her books have the ability to really get under my skin. Intrigue and suspicion smiled slyly as they settled over the first page and prologue. I adored the way this book opened out in front of me, tight fast moving chapters created a throbbing energy which played havoc with my emotions. I met each character with a certain amount of uncertainty, weighing, judging, evaluating as I got to know them. Information is steadily and exquisitely revealed, a beautiful balance is maintained, keeping thoughts on a knife edge. ‘Watching You’ is a completely wonderful, intensely satisfying tale. I can highly recommend just letting go and sinking into the pages, be warned though, I didn’t want to come up for air and it was a one-sitting read for me. 

Liz Robinson

Watching You Synopsis

You're back home after four years working abroad, new husband in tow. You're keen to find a place of your own. But for now you're crashing in your big brother's spare room. That's when you meet the man next door. He's the head teacher at the local school. Twice your age. Extraordinarily attractive. You find yourself watching him. All the time. But you never dreamed that your innocent crush might become a deadly obsession. Or that someone is watching you. Family secrets, illicit passion and an unexplained murder? It can only be the gripping new novel from Lisa Jewell.  

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781784756277
Publication date: 24th January 2019
Author: Lisa Jewell
Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd an imprint of Cornerstone
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 512 pages
Primary Genre Thriller and Suspense
Other Genres:
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What To Read After Watching You

A Suitable Lie
Dead Letters
Behind Closed Doors
In the Absence of Miracles

Watching You Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

You almost forget that a body has been found… when the killer was finally revealed, I had not seen it coming.

I began reading this expecting a psychological thriller and a few chapters in found myself thinking “This doesn’t seem to be a thriller.” The story is told in retrospect after a body has been found but we are not told who it is. Narrated from the points of view of several different people, the plot appears to be simply about the daily lives of the people in the town and you almost forget that a body has been found until you get to one of the transcripts of the police interviews interspersed throughout the book, which reminds you of the hidden mystery and you begin to wonder if there is a killer in town and who it might be. When the killer was finally revealed, I had not seen it coming. An interesting light read.

Rachel Aygin

An utterly compelling twist of a tale, that will grip you instantly and keep you involved and intrigued.

I was completely drawn in to this fantastic book as soon as I started reading. Joey has a crush on the local headmaster who lives in her street. She is married and so is he. That doesn't stop the attraction there seems to be between them. However, as the story cuts between points of view of different characters, as well as a set of disturbing police interviews, maybe the charming headmaster isn't all that he appears to be.
Really one of those books that I couldn't put down. I loved the different twists and turns and was surprised by the tiny details, even up to the very last page! The wide variety of characters gave a great overview of the situation and all slotted together perfectly for the reader to finally put the pieces together.

Sarah Jones

A great book for a holiday read, sweeps you along on the minutiae of people's everyday lives.

From the blurb on the cover of this book, I expected the story to be an edge-of-the-seat thriller. So it wasn't surprising that, when a good half way through, I was wondering when the action would begin.
Having finished the book, I now regard it in a different light. The author slowly and deftly builds up the story creating credible characters, each one caught up in their own web of life. They all come together in the end, each playing their part in tying together the threads of this rather tragic tale.
The story is set in a small community near Bristol and centres around Joey (Josephine) and Tom, the headteacher of the local school. It begins with a murder, but we don't know who, why or who did it. Only at the end do we found these things out and it is quite a twist when all the secrets come to light. There are several characters that have their own secrets, and suspicion falls on many of them over the course of the book.
I found this book easy to read and get involved with, it has a good pace, although I did find some parts dragging with too long dialogues or information. I haven't read any of Lisa Jewell's books before, but would certainly read more of hers.

christine woolfenden

This is a Crime Fiction that is quite unique, its story laid out in a totally different way.

This is a Crime Fiction that is quite unique, its story laid out in a totally different way.

I enjoyed this story, it was easy to read but in a style that ticked all the boxes of a “Who Done It”.

There was a murder, there was the Police investigating, there were suspects, there were lookers-on and the twist in the tale at the end. The question was “Who did it and Why” and of course who WAS the murderer?

What was the twist? Well! That would be telling! A story that grips the reader from page 1, I read this 490 page book in two days - I did eat and do the household jobs! I couldn’t put it down I had to know. Know who did it and why?  Why don’t you read it and see if you are gripped by it too?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it would make a good summer or holiday read.

Marjorie Lacy

Brilliant read.

This is the first book by Lisa Jewell that I have read and I wasn’t disappointed. It starts of with what appears to be a seemingly straight forward case but gradually the story opens up into quite a tangled web of stories and deception. It’s definitely a case of all is not what it seems. Brilliant read.

Lynne Packer

The real deal

Joey Mullan has just returned home from years working abroad. Out of work and out of cash, she and her new husband gratefully accept her brother's offer of a spare room in his Victorian villa in Melville Heights. Against all her better instincts, Joey finds herself drawn to her new next door neighbour, the headteacher of the local secondary school. But what starts off as an innocent crush soon develops into something much darker.

The phrase 'I couldn't put it down' is used to describe a lot of books but Watching You is the real deal. I read it straight through in one three hour sitting and it was worth every second. I was constantly changing my mind about which characters I believed and which ones I was suspicious of and I still didn't see the end coming (side note - the last page is enough to send a shiver down your spine). I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I've already started recommending it to my friends.

Nikki Whitmore

There's been a murder and you think you know who and why but then you realise that all is not as it seems. Who is lying and who is telling the truth? Who is watching who, and why?

The story starts with what's clearly been a murder but that's the only certainty until you get to the end of the book. This book is very cleverly written. It lulls the reader into a false sense of certainty: you are convinced you know who is the victim, who is the murderer and why the crime was committed. But as the story progresses, you realise that all is not as it seems. There are hints of dark and illegal deeds but who is lying and who is telling the truth? Who is watching and who is being watched, and why? The story progresses at a good rate and the characters are believable and complex and I certainly cared about what happened to them. This book is very enjoyable and once you start reading, it's very hard to put it down. Based on my experience with this book, I will definitely seek out more books from Lisa Jewell

Pauline Braisher

This book is another triumph from Lisa Jewel who never fails to provide the reader with a thrilling story line containing well developed characters and a few twists along the way.

Lisa Jewell can always be relied upon to write a thrilling novel that makes you desperate to race to the end, whilst telling yourself to savour each page as you know it will be the best book you read for a while. The characters are not obviously 'good' or 'bad' which keeps you guessing throughout the novel, and the story line contains twists to make you question where you assumed it was heading.

'Watching You' is the story of Joey and her new husband Alfie who have recently moved back to the UK after working and meeting in Ibiza. Shortly after moving in with her brother, Joey becomes infatuated with a neighbour, but she's not the only one.

I can highly recommend this book, along with all Lisa Jewell novels if you enjoy contemporary, relevant books that are well written with a twist of darkness and humour.

Emma Barton

Lisa Jewell has done it again.. fantastic book, it grips you right from the first page and keeps you hooked throughout... a page turner and one you won’t be able to put down!!!!

Lisa Jewell has done it again! Brilliant... I finished this within 3 days.. The book starts quite slowly however soon gains momentum about 6 chapters in... you are kept guessing right from the first page and you think you know what’s going on however the twist is one that I didn’t see coming and the ending... chills!!!

I would definitely recommend this book, I made the mistake of going to bed with it when I had the last few chapters to read (tired the following morning,) ... I couldn’t put it down!

Lucy Hall

There is a lot of 'watching' going on, spying on others and surreptitious photography. Most people are watching the same person Tom - he is a very attractive middle-aged man, charming, caring and sweet-tempered and highly efficient but hiding an awful secret.

Watching You is sheer brilliance. Without a doubt this is the best crime novel I have read in a very long time.

Lisa Jewell takes the reader on a journey behind the scenes of Bristol's cosy coloured houses and the people living there. Centring on the stories of Super Head Tom Fitzwilliam and his family we watch while they merge and interact with other key players in the area. The Mullens live just a few doors down the street and then close by Jennie Tripp and her disturbed mother.

There is a lot of 'watching' going on, spying on others and surreptitious photography. Most people are watching the same person Tom - he is a very attractive middle-aged man, charming, caring and sweet-tempered and highly efficient but hiding an awful secret.

Joey Mullen, a young married woman new to the area is fighting her own demons, and missing the counsel of her recently lost mother. She develops an all-consuming crush on Tom Fitzwilliam the consequence of which ricochets between and through the other characters. The feelings are raw and visceral as everyone battles with their true selves.

The laws of attraction are pulled and twisted and the dramatic conclusion is not what you expect.

High quality writing and excellent storytelling.

Dana Captainino

Definitely worth reading.

I was drawn in from the beginning, but there are a lot of characters, making it a little difficult to remember them all. But once you get to know them you won’t be able to put the book down.

I found the book fast paced and well written. The storyline kept me guessing till the end. I kept changing my mind as to how it would end. I definitely wasn’t expecting it to end the way it did. Definitely worth reading.


Not everyone is as they seem!

I have read most of Lisa Jewell's books and always get excited by a new one being published! I actually squealed when I opened the post!

The book opens with a scene that leaves someone dead, reader is not aware who. Through out the book there are breaks in the chapters which are police interviews these drip feed clues into what has happened. I really enjoyed coming across this part of the book.

The story revolves around a teenage boy who like to watch his neighbours and seeing things and how he makes sense of what he sees. It really makes you think, anyone could be watching!

The neighbours and their lives overlap and cross into each other, I read this in 2 days as I really wanted to find out what happens, it kept me guessing until the last few chapters. It was a sad ending but the right ending!

A great read.

Cheryl Watson

A great story about lots of inter-twined lives. An insight into people's lives who all live near each other - keeps you guessing just who's watching who!

This is just the sort of book I enjoy reading - from the outset I want to know how it's going to end. I love the fact that I'm waiting for the twists and turns in the story whilst the author builds up a picture of each key character. Our focus throughout the book remains centred on Joey or "red boots" as she's known and she has been carefully created to allow empathy with her character and situation. You know straight away though that something terrible has happened and you need to know just how involved she is. I did really enjoy this book and my only criticism was that I wasn't sure it needs to be quite as long as there seemed to be some sections that I didn't think added much to the plot. Saying that, every time I picked the book up I wanted to know more about what was going to happen next, and although there are clues along the way, don't expect it to be predictable!

Julie Watkin

Full of suspense and drama - crime fiction that keeps you guessing about everything right from the first page - someone was murdered, but who was it and why, and just who was the killer?

Watching You by Lisa Jewel is totally absorbing and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's crime fiction that keeps you guessing about everything right from the first page - someone was murdered, but who was it and why, and just who was the killer? It’s full of suspense and drama, interspersed by transcripts of police interviews.

It's also a great story with convincing characters, told from their different perspectives, many of them watching each other and keeping their own secrets. It's centred on Tom Fitzwilliam, who is the charismatic head of the local school, married to Nicola, with a teenage son, Freddie. Tom is watching Freddie for reasons that are not immediately clear, Freddie is watching, and photographing, people mainly teenage girls, from his bedroom window in their house on Melville Heights. Joey, their neighbour and newly married, but infatuated with Tom is watching him,  teenager, Jenna is watching her friend Bess through social media and Frances, Jenna's mum is also watching Tom, believing he is the head of a group of people stalking her.

As the story progressed I became increasingly concerned for all of them. There are a number of twists in this tightly plotted mystery that meant I was totally bemused - just what was Tom's relationship with Nicola, for example, and what had really happened in Burton on Trent in 1997?  It is only right at the end of the book that all becomes clear. I loved it.

Margaret Freeman

This is a thriller that really delivers in which everyone seems to be watching everyone else. It’s a powerful mix of secrets and obsessions, with multiple twists and turns, right up to the last page.

There are a lot of characters in this book, which gets a little confusing but overall it’s a definite winner. The police interviews are cleverly woven throughout the story so we know something has happened but that is not revealed until much further on. One of the central characters seems like a model citizen, but is he really? His son spends his spare time watching and photographing people. All of the characters have their own issues, including Joey who has just returned from abroad with a new husband and ends up living with her brother and his wife. This book is an absolute page turner and I will definitely be looking out for more books from Lisa Jewell.

Adrienne Kinsella

Wow! A page turner from the very beginning. With lives interweaving throughout the story line this book takes on a real twist and ends with a cliffhanger. I hope that this means there is a sequel planned! Great summer holiday read, you won't be able to put it down!

Wow! A page turner from the very beginning. I can usually guess, halfway through a book where the plot is heading, I didn't with 'Watching You'. It took on a real twist towards the end of the book. Joey, Jenna and Tom Fitzwilliam are the main characters in this book, their lives interweaving throughout the whole storyline. Joey and Alfie return home from working in Ibiza to live with Joey's brother and sister in law. From feeling lucky to have met the handsome Alfie whilst working in Ibiza, Joey slowly starts to find her feelings for Alfie dwindle as they return back to the 'real' world and she discovers their handsome, older neighbour Tom Fitzwilliam. The book does end on a bit of a 'cliffhanger' which might be a sign for a sequel! Once you start to read this book you won't want to put this book down!

Julie Evans

A great read with lots of twists and turns - make sure you pay close attention!

Really loved this book. It had me hooked from the start. The chapters move between the present and the periods through the previous three months. This way, you gradually get the background and can link it up to the present.

When I got to the end of the book, I realised it was the little details that are captured throughout that you hardly notice, but are more significant than you realise that help tie everything together.. Thus, I think it's a book you could easily read for a second time. I'm deliberately not saying anything about the plot - don't want to give anything away, so, go and buy a copy and find out for yourself.

I look forward to the next one by Lisa Jewell.

Alison Bisping

Fantastic thrilling page-turner with just the right amount of creepiness.

I loved this story. Lisa Jewell is my favourite author and she didn't disappoint. Brilliant plot which was gripping, thrilling and creepy. Murder mystery with lots of interesting characters, this story had me intrigued from beginning to end and I couldn't guess who the victim or murderer was until the reveal. You will enjoy this book if you have loved her other books and I can't wait for her next book.

kathryn Jolley-whitfield

Once you get reading this book you will not want to stop.

Watching You begins slowly and then as you progress through this crime thriller you become completely gripped. It wasn’t want I expected. Initially, I thought it was going to be a mundane novel about a stalker who ends up killing his victim. However, it is much more complex than this. Moreover, there is more than one ‘watcher’.

The opening scene is that of a row of colourful houses, Joey, the protagonist, has dreamed of living in one of these since she was a young girl. She has just come back from travelling, freshly married, to live in one with her much older brother and his pregnant wife. Joey becomes obsessed with one of the neighbours, a middle aged headmaster. However, nothing and nobody are what they seem to be. This novel, with its fully drawn characters, is full of secrets and deception. It gets darker as you keep reading and somewhat chilling at times.

Excellent, absorbing read which I would definitely recommend.

Rachael Anderson

Easy to read, twists and turns, unusual characters all combine for a wonderful novel full of moments of bated breath and emotion.

Watching you by Lisa Jewell is an easy to read psychological thriller. Based around Joey and her infatuation with married headmaster and the fall out from his behaviour. The chapters are short which builds the anticipation with short reports in between from the police enquiries surrounding all the actions both past and present.
A street full of odd characters all with their own demons, quirks and passions keeps you interested from day one. This book is a great summer holiday read guaranteed to have you hooked from the first page. The way Lisa Jewell writes makes each character totally believable, could one street really have so many unusual people living in it?
Could Tom Fitzwilliam be the guilty predator of young women? Has his son similar traits? As the novel progresses all becomes more and more convoluted until nearly the end when all becomes clear and we can rest easy!


This book from Lisa Jewell is a must-read; suspenseful, and well thought-out. I can’t wait for her to release the next one!

I’ve read a couple of Lisa Jewell’s books previously and really enjoyed them, so I was very excited to read her latest masterpiece. Previous books I found to be a slow burner with the characters being developed, but then bam towards the end you are knocked sideways. This book was no different and I was excited to see how this one would play out.

The main character Joey has returned from overseas, having a great time as a rep. She returns to her home town, with her new husband in tow and moves in with her brother and pregnant sister in law. As she starts to readjust to life with a new husband and job, she starts to meet other people in the local village. This is where the other characters are introduced and we learn more about them from them telling their side of the story in alternate chapters.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book as they were so different and at times quite creepy, but made it so much more interesting. I would really recommend this book - great story, complex characters and very gripping.

Nicola Edwards

But just who is watching who?! Don't assume you can work it out because this book has more twists, turns and red herrings than the local fish market! A very satisfying multi-layered novel that delivers on all levels.

I'm enjoying this new departure for Lisa Jewell from her original chick-lit days and this different genre of storytelling which she also pulled off superbly in 'Then She Was Gone'.
This is a fast paced novel which is so deceptively easy to read with chapters and pages were being rapidly turned as the story-line unfolded and I devoured it within days of starting.
The characters are widely varied and yet each person comes under suspicion and you have to question everyone's motive and role in this book as you read. It is very cleverly written and their lives and histories are seemimgly so separate and yet so well intertwined together within the plot.
I loved the way the story develops and new little nuggets of information are casually dropped in to keep you further guessing and wondering and then reviewing who you'd thought (wrongly!) might be the watcher....until it all satisfyingly starts to drop into place and culminating in an ending you won't have seen coming....


A fast paced read with lots of twists and turns. Once you start it you won't be able to stop!

I absolutely loved the roller-coaster of a read. And OMG that ending - I keep thinking about it.

Joey has arrived back from working in Ibiza with gentle-giant hubby in tow who she married quite on the spur of the moment when abroad. They are staying at her brother's and sister-in-laws until they get their lives sorted. Joey meets the neighbour, hot shot headteacher of the local high school, who even for his age is quite attractive and develops a crush on him. She can't stop thinking about him and imagines all things happening between them. Someone is watching Joey and others in the neighbourhood....there are lots of twists and turns and happenings. I simply loved it and never saw that ending coming! Brilliant.


A terrible crime committed in a small community, but who did it? This book will keep you guessing.

This story starts with a bang, with the body of a woman being discovered in her own kitchen, then goes back three months when the events leading up to her death are played out. The principal character is Josephine (Joey) Mullen, who appears to be the chief suspect as the police investigate the murder. But all is not as it seems and several of the main players are hiding secrets from their past. There are some really interesting and diverse characters in this story, all well drawn and credible and it gradually builds into a real page turner, with some fascinating twists and turns along the way, and a small bombshell dropped at the very end. I found it a really good read.

Doreen McKeown

A well written thriller!

Brilliant! I've only recently come across this author, and very book she writes does not disappoint.

The story is based around A headmaster, his son, a school girl and her mentally ill mum, and Joey a young adult that's returned to her home town. Lots of characters weave this complex tale, so you are never bored. Someone is murdered who is it, how and why???
Lots of different forms of watching!
It keeps you guessing, with some great twists.

Alison Greenacre

Excellent thriller that will twist and turn and leave you sad that it's over, even after nearly 500 pages.

Lisa Jewell has once again written a brilliantly-paced and engrossing thriller that keeps you hooked right up until the very end. On the surface it's the story of one woman's crush on an older teacher, but it's also the story about writing past wrongs, betrayals, and murderous revenge.

The twists and turns keep you wanting to turn the page all in one sitting, and the characters are well-realised and believable in their actions. There's question marks on whether the 'good' people are really good, and whether the ones you think might be 'bad' are really bad, and even at the end you're not completely certain whether they're anything but morally grey (which makes them far more interesting).

Lisa Jewell writes psychological thrillers the likes of which dominate the charts at the moment; the difference is she writes them with twists that aren't un-guessable whilst also the satisfying realisation of several possibilities, and with characters that aren't instantly forgettable. If you've enjoyed her previous thrillers, you'll lap this up too.

Chris Bertenshaw

A competent thriller with an interesting premise.

This is the first book I have read by this author & I am sorry to say that it was not for me. The story is credible, the characters are fine but I just felt the book lacked depth. This is probably due to taste, I generally adore thrillers and love those where you come away feeling that you have really got to know the characters. This book felt superficial in comparison to excellent thrillers like 'Dark Pines' & 'The Woman In The Window'. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to review this book.

Jennifer Stoddart

Lisa Jewell Press Reviews

'If you only pick one summer read this year, make it Watching You. I inhaled it in one sitting. A gripping plot, characters you love but can't trust, and a thumping emotional heart, Lisa Jewell has done it again.' - Sarah Pinborough, author of Behind Her Eyes and 13 Minutes

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781784756277
Publication date: 24/01/2019
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781780896434
Publication date: 12/07/2018
Format: Hardback

Publication date: 12/07/2018
Format: Audiobook

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About Lisa Jewell

Lisa Jewell had always planned to write her first book when she was fifty. In fact, she wrote it when she was twenty-seven and had just been made redundant from her job as a secretary. Inspired by Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, a book about young people just like her who lived in London, she wrote the first three chapters of what was to become her first novel, Ralph’s Party. It went on to become the bestselling debut novel of 1998. Twelve bestselling novels later, she lives in London with her husband and their two daughters. Lisa writes ...

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