Sunday, September 4, 2016

Because I'm Watching

Because I'm Watching (Virtue Falls #3)- Christina Dodd
St. Martin's Press
Release Date: September 6, 2016

Warning: Potential Spoilers!

Rating (out of 5):


Synopsis:The survivor of a college dorm massacre, a woman accused of her lover's murder, Madeline Hewitson is haunted by ghosts and tormented by a killer only she can see. At night, she works, writing and drawing the monster that slithers through her imagination, and living in fear of those moments when the doors of her mind unhinge and her nightmare lives in the daylight. 
A seasoned military veteran, Jacob Denisov lives alone in his small, darkened home, sleepless, starving, and angry. Every day he lives with the guilt that comes from his own failures and the carnage that followed. When neighbor Madeline Hewitson drives her car through the front wall of his house, she breaks his house--and his life--wide open. Forced to view the world outside, Jacob watches Maddie, recognizes a kindred spirit and wonders what she fears more than herself. Has someone caught her in a twisted labyrinth of revenge and compassion, guilt and redemption, murder and madness? 
When Maddie's imaginary killer takes form, she fights, screaming her fear and defiance. But will she be strong enough to triumph, or is the killer she fears no more than a shadow, an illusion ... that watches? 


After reading Christina Dodd's last Virtue Falls book, Obsession Falls, I knew exactly how I was going to read Because I'm Watching.  During the day, with lights on, and absolutely not allow myself to read before then trying to go to sleep, no matter how deep into the book I was.  Obsession Falls took Dodd's mystery series to a whole new level of terrifying creepiness and psychological thriller that makes for a great read, but not a nighttime relaxing book when you live alone in the middle of nowhere.  Based on the blurb for Watching, I wasn't going to make this a night book!

Although book 3 in a series, it's a stand alone that allows new readers into the heart of the quaint little town of Virtue Falls.  The quiet kind of town where everyone gets in everyone's business, yet dangerous secrets still manage to hide.  New resident Jacob Denisov lives in a quiet historical neighborhood, dealing with demons from his army days, a massive case of PTSD, and no desire to interact with the outside world.  The outside world forces itself on him when neighbor Maddie Hewitson accidentally drives her car through the front of his house.  Suddenly Jacob has to deal with annoying insurance agents, nosy neighbors, incessant construction crews, arsonists, and Maddie.  Everyone is convinced Maddie is crazy, but Jacob sees a kindred spirit fighting her own demons.  The question is: are those demons in her head, or real?

Maddie and Jacob may be two of the most complex characters I've ever read.  Both damaged by past horrors, both trying to decide how to deal with them and if it is possible to move forward.  As always, Dodd's secondary characters are equally well-written and detailed.  Series readers will enjoy catching up with familiar faces, but new readers won't feel left behind.

Because I'm Watching definitely continues to make Virtue Falls a series of thrillers, but I was glad it didn't try to top Obsession Falls on the terror factor. It's a good, solid, fast paced mystery with twists and turns to keep you on your feet, wonderful atmosphere, and with Dodd's trademark humor coming through exactly when you need it.  A great new read for Christina Dodd fans and thriller fans alike!

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.

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