A small community in Bristol, Melville Heights, is the very epitome of British village life. Although it is part of a larger metropolitan area it feels like a small enclave where everyone knows everyone else. It’s a well to do neighborhood with lawyers and doctors and more recently the elite head teacher who has come in to turn around the local secondary school.
Joey has moved back to live with her brother and his pregnant wife. Joey is a trained nanny but has been living it up in Ibiza as a holiday rep. A rash decision to get married while she was out there sees her with a husband – Alfie – in tow. He still worships the ground that she walks on but Joey is struggling to return to “normal” life.
Freddie is the son of head teacher Tom and he struggles in his day to day life. He doesn’t really have any friends because they are always moving around to where his Dad’s latest job is. Freddie spends his time photographing his neighbours from his bedroom window and documenting their comings and goings.
Watching You is a great title for this book as it revolves around so many of the characters watching each other and making suppositions – often wrong – based on those observations. Jenna Tripp’s mother has a mental illness and is convinced that Tom is stalking her. Although Jenna knows that this isn’t true she still thinks that there is something creepy about the new head and the interest that he’s talking in her best friend.
Jewell is at her absolute best in this book creating such real and engaging characters that you feel like you’re living in Melville Heights with them. This is a lesson in perspective and the dangers of making rash judgements about people. Throw in her recent venture into psychological thrillers and a murder mystery to solve and Watching You will have you on the edge of your seat right to the end.
UK Publication Date: Jul 12 2018. 488 pages.