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The Watcher: A Novel of Crime Hardcover – May 15, 2014
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“Most readers would never guess that this gripping psychological thriller was the work of a best-selling German novelist. Link’s English-language debut is a dark, disturbing novel of suspense on par with Minette Walters. Link builds a sense of menace in these chapters that makes the reader dread turning the page but keeps you up all night doing just that.” (Booklist (Starred Review))
Top Customer Reviews
So, bolt your windows, double lock your door, and hold on to your shorts because you're in for a terrifyingly wonderful ride.
But first, the story: this one is great if you like in-depth psychological mysteries; if you're just looking for action, this novel may not be to your taste. The psychological analysis of the characters is deep and insightful, and Frau Link has created a set of players that really need analysis. There's the heroine, Gillian, who has a host of problems with her husband, her daughter, and ultimately, with herself; she launches into an indiscretion and then things get really bad for her. There's the anti-hero, Samuel, who is the observer, and whose problems and behavior are bizarre to say the least. There's John, the fallen cop, who has his own issues about commitment and ego.
And there's a vicious serial killer on the loose, and Scotland Yard is baffled. The Yard detectives play a fairly minor role, but they do prove analysis of their own and the whole plot ties together nicely. There's plenty of creepy suspense, and the ending is a study in how to skilfully produce extended tension without losing the reader's interest. It all turns out to be very satisfying, quite believable, and in general, really well done.
There are a couple of issues. The book is long. That didn't bother me, as an "analysis" tale needs a lot of pages, but again, if you want something fast-moving, this may not be it. The other issue, which is a little more bothersome, is that it's really difficult as the reader to identify with the characters, unless you've got similar problems in your own life.Read more ›
Samson Segal, an unemployed man who passes time spying on his neighbors becomes the prime suspect when the third victim is the husband of beautiful Gillian Ward, who has become an obsession for Samson.
While Samson views Gillian as a perfect woman, he is unaware of her own doubts about her marriage and her performance as a mother, doubts which have led her into an affair with her daughter's tennis coach. John Burton, a former Scotland Yard detective, who has his own character flaws.
When Samson flees to avoid arrest, Burton becomes his protector and they join forces to solve the mystery.
Link is regarded as one of Europe's bestselling crime writers and this novel was absorbing enough to keep me reading. That said, I didn't find Burton a particularly engaging character. I was much more intrigued by Detective Inspector Peter Fielder and Detective Sergeant Christy McMarrow who were given short-shift by the author. And, while it might be the fault of the translator and not Link, there seemed to be a heavy reliance on cliche throughout the novel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting plot but the drawn out ending us too stereotypical, and the characters are not fully developed.Published 2 months ago by tony warren
I thought the story line was very well done. I hate when I figure out the ending before the author tells and Charlotte Link had me guessing all the way til she revealed whodunit! Read morePublished 4 months ago by cc
I was new to this author and am disappointed. This story drags along and I almost put the book away unfinished, which I rarely do. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Ginger
I liked it much better in German. somehow it was a bit boring. The translation did not do it justice.Published 8 months ago by Brigitte Baranski
A book cover that shows a solitary figure walking through a wintry forest has some appeal when you’re sweltering through the hot, humid days of early summer in Sydney. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Devoted Eclectic
very boring......have tried a few times to read it and the details are boring and the story jumps between so many random characters over and over that it's hard to get into the... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Luke Jacobs