Using public transport has suddenly changed because of the thriller I See You by Clare Mackintosh. The daily journey to work and back is the main focus of this book, recognizable to many: you take the same route every day, wait on the same spot on the platform and do the same things while you travel. But is that wise?
About the book
This daily routine forms the base of the plot that Mackintosh made for us. Because it is so recognizable – everyone had in some point in their lives a set route with public transport – as a reader you get goosebumps when you realize this. The book is a great display of patterns and human behaviour.
Zoë Walker is shocked when she sees a picture of herself in a sex ad in the newspaper while she’s on her way to work. When other women whose photo’s are in the newspaper are found murdered, Zoë starts her own research to protect her life.
While reading you constantly wonder: what is the villain’s motive? By adding short chapters from the culprit’s perspective, Mackintosh makes sure that as a reader you also see inside the thoughts of the bad guy. With the building of suspense, at the end you’re in the edge of your seat to find out why this all happened.
Next to the plot, there are a lot of loose parts of daily life, that don’t really seem to matter. Descriptions of situations at home and relationships with exes and kids seem to be annoying white noise at first. In the end these things also fall into place. It might not be in the way you expected, but reading the last few chapter makes you realize that the annoying white noise actually was a part of the plot.
Besides the white noise, which was too much to my opinion, the motive of the villain remained a question mark. Even though Mackintosh gives the villain enough time to explain the motives, in the end it just wasn’t strong enough. It seems the culprit has set up a masterful plan because of a light frustration, and the main target seems collateral damage next to the other victims. It feels too elaborate, too well though out to work for this motive.
But the last page is absolutely mind blowing. You think you have had everything, and then there is one last page that puts everything in another perspective. Fantastic. That last page made me adjust my opinion and I want to read the book again. With the knowledge of that last page, reading it a second time will be completely different.
At first the plot was well though out, recognizable to the reader and thrilling with a lot of question marks. However, the white noise was very distracting and felt like a way to fill the pages. I See You reads well, except for those moments, and pulls the reader into the mystery. The motive was too weak to execute such an elaborate plan, but the last page made up for it.
I See You is a nice book to read, but I wouldn’t bring it to read in public transport…