I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of this from the publisher.
The Watcher is the debut novel by Ross Armstrong. The watcher within the novel is Lily. She has just moved into a recently built block of flats. The flats opposite her are going to be demolished to make way for more high priced ‘apartments’. Some of the people who have been evicted are still living in the flats as they are being demolished round their ears. Lily used to be a big birdwatcher with her Dad when younger. She now uses these skills to watch her neighbours and the people in the flats opposite. When one of the characters she has been watching is found murdered Lily becomes obsessed with what happened and attempts to track down the culprit.
This was an interesting novel although I have to confess that it did take a while to get into. The story is written from the viewpoint of Lily. Each chapter takes the form of a diary entry written to an unseen person. It starts with a description of what she can see as though she is bird watching. To start with this felt a bit disjointed and difficult to read, but you are soon immersed into Lily’s world and at that point the story really starts to pick up.
I found the main character of Lily to be quite frustrating, but as the twists are revealed you start to think that maybe you are supposed to find her annoying. It is a confusing story, but things do all fall in place eventually and you start to make sense of what is happening.
I felt that this was a unique take on obsession, that draws you into Lily’s world. There is a real feeling of claustrophobia and paranoia that’s add to the very creepy atmosphere. It is a great use of the popular unreliable narrator. Once you get caught up in this novel it really is hard to put down, and there are some excellent twists that I didn’t see coming.
I would definitely recommend this book if you like a psychological thriller with an unreliable narrator.