See You by
Clare Mackintosh is a riveting psychological thriller. She
is two for two in writing plot lines that will scare, worry
and terrify readers. The novel is a police drama, a mystery,
and a suspense story. The author seems to have found her niche,
writing stories about ordinary women who are put in jeopardy.
The plot is a warning of sorts from Mackintosh, a former police
detective. She shows the dangers and benefits of the technology
world. The plot begins with Zoe Walker, an average working
mother, seeing an "advert" in the London Gazette.
She becomes flustered and worried when it appears there is
a picture of herself. Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is
someone keeping track of her every move? When other women
appear it becomes evident to Zoe that something is wrong,
as she connects the dots to crimes involving these women.
After calling the police and getting PC Kelly Swift involved
the investigation finds women who were sexually abused, violently
assaulted, and had material objects stolen. In an innovative
scenario, Mackintosh shows how technology has taken stalking
to a whole new level, where a routine can work against someone.
author noted, “I started the book with this quote to
set the tone, ‘You do the same thing every day. You
know exactly where you’re going. You’re not alone.’
We stay in these routines and do not think about it because
they are extraordinarily comforting and familiar. For example,
when we leave for a job we take the same route and leave at
the same time each day. Unfortunately, this means we are less
aware of our surroundings. I realized in the cities many people
know about others commutes, and how dangerous that could be.”
The wide range of characters is very well developed and contributes
to the storyline through different narratives. Detective Kelly
Swift steals the show in this book, especially given the tidbits
of her life and the detective work done to solve the crime.
Having been disgraced for punching a prisoner she was demoted
to the British Transport Unit. But after convincing her former
superior to be given a second chance she joins the MIT unit.
Although she breaks the rules it is obvious that her intentions
are in the right place. A powerful quote hammers the point
home, “you were doing what you thought was the right
thing. It isn’t always the same.”
Mackintosh had no intention of having Swift become the main
character, "I certainly had no intention to make her
it. But over the course of writing the story, she became so
vivid and such a strong character. I do think she threatened
to overshadow the whole story. In the future, I would dearly
like to write more stories that put her front and center.
There is still so much about her that I want to talk about.
I am not done with her yet."
her vast experiences Mackintosh creates a very realistic and
chilling story with a growing sense of danger. Readers feel
they are part of the case as they work along with Kelly and
her police team to find connections to the antagonist.