Aidan Poole logs on to his laptop late at night to Skype his girlfriend, Zoe. To his horror, he realizes that there is someone else in her flat. Aidan can only listen to the sounds of a violent struggle taking place in the bathroom—and then the sound of silence. He is desperate to find out if Zoe is okay. But then why is he so hesitant to call the police?
When Aidan’s cryptic messages finally reach them, Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens and his team take the case—and discover the body. They soon find that no one has a bad word to say about Zoe, a big hearted young artist at the center of a curious web of waifs and strays, each relying on her for support, each hiding dark secrets and buried resentments. Has one of her so-called “friends” been driven to murder? Or does Aidan have the biggest secret of them all?
The blurb actually captures the story really well, it tells you in this case exactly what to expect. Main character Zoe, brilliant, lovely, sweet Zoe winds up dead and it is one big mystery who killed her. Of course everybody likes her, what’s not to love about her? As the story progresses from the past to the present, Zoe stays the one that everybody turns to but her friends show more of their true colours and the suspicion turns in every direction since every single one of her friends could possibly have a motive.
I can’t get enough of these type of novels if they’re done well and Watching From the Dark is definitely on the list of good ones. I did, however, only read another novel in the same genre the other week and even though I really liked both, the biggest difference is that I was actually able to predict the ending here. The story managed to wind me up paranoid about everybody, but in the end the red herrings were futile, my initial thought was the one I came back to after zigzagging over all the other names, and that turned out to be the right bet. If you read a lot of these types of novels I don’t know if it will come as a complete surprise. It could also be I’m just so good at it of course ;-).
I enjoyed the way the story was written. Zoe herself and Felix and Maeve were the characters that sprung out the most for me because they had an interesting personal history and character traits that really defined them. Her other friends Victor and Angeline could have been developed maybe a bit more for me personally. I also found Zoe to be quite a catch, it seems that every single man in this novel was attracted to her (yes that made me roll my eyes). Jealousy is of course a strong and believable motive anytime but still, it bothered me a little that literally everyone wanted her. All that was missing was a girl crush in it as well (or maybe there is, you’ll have to read it).
This is actually the second book in the detective series but you really don’t have to have read the first one. I didn’t and I didn’t miss a beat. The detectives in the story were great, there was a good connection between Jonah and Hanson, they form a perfect twosome, they’re both are very clever and they compliment each other so the detective work had drive and determination and it certainly makes me want to see more of them in the future.
I received a free copy from the publisher for review. This is my honest opinion.