Book tour stop! Today I’m delighted to be the host for Watch For Me, a psychological thriller written by Martin Bodenham.
MEET THE BOOK
Tom Harper, a Vancouver Island realtor, has the client from hell, Ali Page, a beautiful and intelligent young lawyer returning from the mainland to take up a job with an island law firm. Trouble is there’s always something wrong with the properties Tom shows her, always a reason not to commit. Finally, after they find a condo she likes, he receives a text thanking him for his help. Ali signs off: I’m sad we won’t get to spend more time together. Often cold and withdrawn throughout their weeks of searching, Ali’s words seem strangely out of character.
The texts keep coming, increasingly incoherent and disturbing. What does Ali mean by: we have a special connection, and why on earth would she say: I’ll be here for you when you leave your wife? Happily married, Tom cannot understand why a woman not much older than his teenage daughter is suddenly obsessed with him. When he rejects Ali’s unsolicited advances, Tom soon discovers the sinister depths to which a delusional mind will sink to obtain what it wants. Isolated and seemingly abandoned by the police and legal system, this is the story of one man’s struggle to rescue his marriage, his family, and his sanity in the face of overwhelming psychological and physical torment.
Publication day: 16/08/21
Purchase link: Amazon
READ MY REVIEW
Cover: It fits the theme. Good choice, I approve.
Well, wow. Watch For Me is both the kind of book I wasn’t expecting to read and one that met my expectations to a T.
Let’s start with structure and characterization, because Watch For Me is a peculiar one: we have the main character, Tom, told in first POV, and Ali, the antagonist, told in third, plus another secondary character in third too. Odd, right? I’ll be honest and say I had some reservations about that when I started reading, reservations that soon melted away. The thing is, it’s been an interesting experiment altogether, as Watch For Me also subverts the ‘Is the MC correct or just delusional?’ trope right from the start. Tom? Tom is not delusional. Tom is 100% correct. Ali’s harassment is way too real.
You see, by taking a standard thriller aspect out of the equation, Bodenham forces his readers to drop their bias and readjust their expectations. Even if I wasn’t a sucker for trope subversion, I would have gone all OMG yes.
I also like watching trainwrecks – in this case the slow, systematic destruction of Tom’s life. The driving force behind it is Ali, of course, but Tom makes interesting mistakes that don’t help his case at all. The fact that his family and the police drop him like a hot potato makes me wonder about trust and its foundations. Would I be able to forgive such lack of faith? Would I still be willing to keep a relationship going after that? (No way)
The ending is so satisfying! I guessed half of it, but I made a mistake regarding the other half, so kudos for tricking me. It doesn’t happen often. Good grammar and a polished writing style pretty much seal the deal.
TL;DR, if you like out of the ordinary books, Watch For Me is your best bet.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Martin Bodenham is the author of the crime thrillers: Crime And Justice, The Geneva Connection, Once a Killer and Shakedown. Watch For Me is his latest novel, published 16 August 2021 by Down & Out Books, a US-based publisher of crime fiction, founded in 2011.
After a thirty-year career in private equity and corporate finance in London, Martin moved to the west coast of Canada, where he writes full-time. He held corporate finance partner positions at both KPMG and Ernst & Young as well as senior roles at several private equity firms before founding his own private equity company in 2001. Much of the tension in his thrillers is based on the greed and fear he witnessed first-hand while working in international finance.
Martin’s website: https://www.martinbodenham.com/
Martin’s Twitter page: https://twitter.com/martinbodenham
Martin’s LinkedIn page: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/martin-bodenham-8228307
Martin’s publisher’s page: https://downandoutbooks.com/