I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Watching Over You by Mel Sherratt
Published by Thomas & Mercer on January 14, 2014
Genres: Adult, Crime, Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thrillers
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Following the death of her husband and unborn child, Charley Belington sells the family home and bravely starts life over again. On moving into a new flat, she is befriended by her landlady, Ella, who seems like the perfect friend and confidante.
But, unbeknown to Charley, Ella is fighting her own dark and dirty demons as the fallout from a horrific childhood sends her spiralling down into madness—and unspeakable obsessions.
As Ella’s mind splinters, her increasingly bizarre attentions make Charley uneasy. But with every step Charley tries to take to distance herself, Ella moves in a tightening lockstep with her, closer and closer and closer…
From the bestselling author of Taunting the Dead comes a raw, intense, relentless, and darkly claustrophobic psychological thriller that grabs you by the back of the neck and never lets you go.
After the unexpected death of her husband and followed by the loss of her unborn child a few months later, Charley’s life is in a tailspin. She’s isolated herself, only working and staying at home to mourn in solitude. After a year she decides that it’s time for her to move on, and she can’t do that in a house full of memories of her happy life with her husband. So Charley decides to rent an apartment for the short term while she decides where to settle in her new single life, but this difficult decision leads her into dangerous new territory.
Charley’s new landlady is Ella, a seemingly normal woman who’s hiding a very dark childhood that’s manifested itself in adulthood as sex addiction and alcoholism with blackouts. Ella is desperate for friendship, companionship, and love, so she latches onto Charley the day she moves into the first floor flat of the converted house that she owns. As Charley reluctantly accepts Ella’s friendship, she’s grateful at first to have someone to confide in, to help bring her back out into the world. But as Charley finally gets a real chance at happiness again and to be back on solid ground, Ella’s behavior grows increasingly possessive and frightening. Will Charley realize the danger that Ella poses to her safety before it’s too late?
Charley is such a nice character, colored by the loss of her husband and baby. She finds solace and comfort in her work helping the victims of domestic abuse, but she dismisses the early signs that something is very wrong with her landlady and new friend Ella. Charley is easy to manipulate and reluctant to put herself out there again, but Ella soon pushes the right buttons to kick start their friendship.
Ella is a real piece of work. She hooks up with a different man or woman for sex several times a week, and she often doesn’t remember that she’s done so. Pretty, manipulative, starving for attention and love, Ella wants nothing more than someone to stay with her forever. Since the story is told in both Charley and Ella’s points of view, you get a good glimpse early on that Ella is very disturbed. Just how disturbed Ella actually is and what she is capable of takes the full book to build, but the author does an excellent job of portraying a woman with a horrible past and what might become of her when she grows up.
I give Watching Over You a four out of five. Set in England, the writing is descriptive and rich that made it easy to picture the area. The tension was thick and built up at a nice pace throughout the book, leading to a frenzied pace at the explosive conclusion. As a reader, you get to see what Ella is up to while Charley is left in the dark, and this really added to my enjoyment. It’s not often that you get full access into the villain’s mind. I often had a moment of “No, Charley. Don’t do that!” I highly recommend this book for fans of psychological thrillers.