Mackintosh understands the complexities — the endless ups and downs — of police work and family life, and she presents them with skill and sensitivity. Beyond that, her greatest gift may be her plotting. About halfway through I Let You Go, she introduced a shocking twist that turned her tale on its ear and carried it to a new level. Now, in I See You, she hits us with an equal astonishment at her story’s very end. She’s a master of surprises ... Perhaps because of Mackintosh’s years of police work, her first two novels reflect an exceptional sense of evil; they feature three characters who, despite their charming exteriors, are pure psychopaths, creatures who would cut your throat for a dime. She offers good people, too, but it’s her recognition of inhumanity that has made her books brilliant and unnerving. It’s hard to choose between her novels. Read them both. What matters is that Mackintosh seems destined to do important work for many years to come.
I See you, a nasty little tale by the British author (and former police officer) Clare Mackintosh, articulates female riders’ secret fears of being stalked by some silent watcher on the London Underground ... Mackintosh supplies refreshingly realistic domestic scenes for the women in this slow-burning narrative, including Kelly Swift of the British Transport Police, who talks her way onto this case to get back in the big leagues. She’s a well-drawn character with a rich home life (another one of the author’s strengths) and good company on this case, which — with the exception of a forced and truly awful ending — really hits home for daily commuters with robotic schedules and vivid imaginations.
Zoe’s practicality lends gut-clenching credence to her distress, creating sharp contrast to Kelly’s wavering stability, and the steadily thickening paranoia will leave readers questioning their comfortable routines. This follow-up to Mackintosh’s debut, I Let You Go (2016), is a well-crafted blend of calculated malevolence, cunning plot twists, and redemption that will appeal to fans of Sophie Hannah, Ruth Rendell, and Ruth Ware.
Mackintosh’s debut novel delivered a surprise that left readers reeling, and while her latest one is packed with suspense, twists, and turns, it falls a bit short of her first effort. Most readers will peg the villain early on, while the epilogue will remind them of the loose ends the author—and authorities—has left dangling. The author’s meticulous detail to investigative accuracy and talent in weaving a thrilling tale set her work apart from others in the field.
Although some shocking final twists don’t quite convince, Mackintosh scripts a hair-raising ride all the scarier because its premise—that our predictable routines make us easy targets—is sadly so plausible.