I See You – Clare Mackintosh

Book review/analysis

           In the more growing popularity of the thriller, mystery, crime genre, it is refreshing to come across titles that have something new to offer and, furthermore, find those that conserve certain authors’ trademarks that makes them a greatly expected name to find on bookstore shelves. One of those names is surely Claire Mackintosh, the author of the bestseller I let you go with which she ensured herself such a status. Her new book I see you was, hence, a no brainer to snatch and literary devour.

            The very titles of both novels suggest the author’s intention to start the mystery immediately in the puzzling title, making us think about it even before we start reading. It is frequently said that the first sentence of a novel should be the hook, however the author seems to take this to a whole new level making the titles the hooks. The I in the title suggests that the readers will hear a character’s voice from the first narrator’s perspective, but it also creates a pattern which may lead to becoming one of the author’s first trademarks. Now, if one is a reader already familiar with the novel I let you go, he or she might expect that the voice will probably be the one of the main character. Although that might be true, the title of the novel I see you is also a very important clue which brings the readers and the characters a step closer to resolving the mystery.

            Another similarity is the motherhood and family motive which is present in both novels, but described differently giving readers a deeper and perhaps a more intense view which they can relate to. All the personal touches the author provides make the characters and the entire story more real. She follows, at least, two storylines that intertwine and lead to one cohesive story at the end. The first storyline is Zoe’s, a mother of two and a real family woman who finds herself in a mysterious situation and the other one is Katie’s, the detective with her own family issues who helps Zoe with her suspicions. The author provided a similar feature in the novel I let you go adding one more darker storyline, which made the whole story even more interesting and different. She actually did the same in this novel as a very short, but well-timed storyline revealing another refreshing and the most special feature of all- leaving some details undiscovered for the characters. With that uncommon feature, the author sealed the story powerfully, putting the final letter to a refreshing ending.

            The very idea of the crime story the author imagined is very innovative and engaging. It also sends an important message of privacy, technology, control and reminds us how people are creatures of habits. Something that the people of the modern world tend to forget. The world of technology lets down the walls of privacy more easily than ever and the author’s idea, together with an interesting crime plot, becomes a warning of the way we use our personal information and how available it is on social media. The plot starts when Zoe, the main character, finds her own photograph in the newspapers, in the add section wondering how it got there and how many other people have had such and experience. That notion unravels many dangers heading Zoe’s way.

            There are many layers to writing this genre. It’s not only the interesting character and story that matter, but also the way the story is imagined and executed. It has to fulfil the rules of every crime story- the motive, the means and the opportunity. That alone can be quite challenging, and having on top of that well written characters, engaging atmosphere, the message to make a reader think and certain author’s trademarks, only proves that C. Mackintosh might be an eagerly expected name to follow in the world of books for years to come.



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