Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Review ~ The Watcher by Ross Armstrong

The Watcher Hardcover by Ross Armstrong
Published by HQ
January 2017

She’s watching you, but who’s watching her?

A bit of blurb...

Lily Gullick lives with her husband Aiden in a new-build flat opposite an estate which has been marked for demolition. A keen birdwatcher, she can’t help spying on her neighbours.

Until one day Lily sees something suspicious through her binoculars and soon her elderly neighbour Jean is found dead. Lily, intrigued by the social divide in her local area as it becomes increasingly gentrified, knows that she has to act. But her interference is not going unnoticed, and as she starts to get close to the truth, her own life comes under threat.

My Thoughts...

Lily Gullick and her husband Aiden live in a fancy new build directly opposite a London estate which is being demolished and redeveloped. A keen bird watcher, Lily can't help but watch and record the minutiae of people's lives but as the watcher watches, so the watcher also becomes the watched.

As a debut novel, The Watcher is accomplished and cleverly written. It is obvious that a great deal of thought has gone into the narrative in order to make it stand out and be different. The dark and complicated nature of the mystery at the heart of the story takes a little getting used too, as does the snappy sentence construction and shortish chapters, but, after about a third of the way into the book, and once I got used to way the story was evolving, the whole thing became much more interesting.

Throughout the story a tangled web of intrigue is woven, and therein lies the overall strength of the novel. The Watcher aims to be different, and I think that the author has succeeded in ensuring that the book has a sinister edginess which is engendered by the air of unreliability that surrounds Lily in her role as narrator.

The Watcher may not be to everyone’s taste, but if you're looking for something darkly different then it's worth giving this book a try.

Best read with ....Eggs Florentine and a pot of Earl Grey tea..

About the Author

Ross Armstrong is an actor and writer based in North London.He has performed on stage with the RSC as well as numerous TV appearances. The Watcher is his debut novel.

Follow on Twitter @Rarmstrongbooks

My thanks to HQ for my copy of this book

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