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WATCHING YOU
2018
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Watching You PROLOGUE MARCH 24 DC Rose Pelham kneels down; she can see something behind the kitchen door, just in front of the trash can. For a minute she thinks it's a bloodstained twist of tissue, maybe, or an old bandage. Then she thinks perhaps it is a dead flower. But as she looks at it more closely she can see that it's a tassel. A red suede tassel. The sort that might once have been attached to a handbag, or to a boot. It sits just on top of a small puddle of blood, strongly suggesting that it had fallen there in the aftermath of the murder. She photographs it in situ from many angles, and then, with her gloved fingers, she plucks the tassel from the floor and drops it into an evidence bag, which she seals. She stands up and turns to survey the scene of the crime: a scruffy kitchen, old-fashioned pine units, a green Aga piled with pots and pans, a large wooden table piled with table mats and exercise books and newspapers and folded washing, a small extension to the rear with a cheap timber glazed roof, double doors to the garden, a study area with a laptop, a printer, a shredder, a table lamp. It's an innocuous room, bland even. A kitchen like a million other kitchens all across the country. A kitchen for drinking coffee in, for doing homework and eating breakfast and reading newspapers in. Not a kitchen for dark secrets or crimes of passion. Not a kitchen for murdering someone in. But there, on the floor, is a body, splayed facedown inside a large, vaguely kidney-shaped pool of blood. The knife that had been used is in the kitchen sink, thoroughly washed down with a soapy sponge. The attack on the victim had been frenzied: at least twenty knife wounds to the neck, back, and shoulders. But little in the way of blood has spread to other areas of the kitchen--no handprints, no smear, no spatters--leading Rose to the conclusion that the attack had been unexpected, fast, and efficient and that the victim had had little chance to put up a fight. Rose takes a marker pen from her jacket pocket and writes on the bag containing the red suede tassel. Description: "Red suede/suedette tassel." Location: "In front of fridge, just inside door from hallway." Date and time of collection: "Friday, March 24, 2017, 11:48 p.m." It's probably nothing, she muses, just a thing fallen from a fancy handbag. But nothing was often everything in forensics. Nothing could often be the answer to the whole bloody thing. Excerpted from Watching You: A Novel by Lisa Jewell All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.
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  Publishers Weekly Review

In the prologue of this crafty conundrum from bestseller Jewell (Then She Was Gone), a dead body lies on the kitchen floor of the Fitzwilliam family's Victorian house in a posh neighborhood of Bristol, England. The author smoothly juggles multiple story lines-some dating back 20 years-centering on paterfamilias Tom Fitzwilliam. For some reason, the now middle-aged, nationally honored schoolmaster seems to effortlessly bewitch women and girls alike, among them his slavishly solicitous wife, Nicola; increasingly paranoid stalker Frances Tripp, the mother of one of his students, 15-year-old Jenna; and Jenna's best friend, Bess Ridley, who has a schoolgirl crush on him. While all the people watching Tom facilitate the serpentine plot, they're also the novel's weakest link, since their respective obsessions remains baffling and at times border on the tedious. That said, prepare to be blindsided by the murder victim's identity, not revealed until late in the game-and an even more stunning final surprise. Jewell does a masterly job of maintaining suspense. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider Literary. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
The instant New York Times and #1 Sunday Times bestselling author of the "riveting thriller" ( PopSugar ) Then She Was Gone delivers another suspenseful page-turner about a shocking murder in a picturesque and well-to-do English town, perfect "for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, and Luckiest Girl Alive" ( Library Journal). <br> <br> Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It's not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.<br> <br> As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all--including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom's teenaged son Freddie--a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5--excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.<br> <br> One of Tom's students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she's not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna's mother--whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years--is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.<br> <br> Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam...<br> <br> In Lisa Jewell's latest brilliant "bone-chilling suspense" ( People ) no one is who they seem--and everyone is hiding something. Who has been murdered--and who would have wanted one of their neighbors dead? As "Jewell teases out her twisty plot at just the right pace" ( Booklist , starred review), you will be kept guessing until the startling revelation on the very last page.
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