The Watcher by Bella Jewel

The Watcher by Bella JewelThe Watcher by Bella Jewel
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on May 30th 2017
Pages: 304
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NOW YOU SEE HER . . . Seven years ago, Marlie Jacobson was kidnapped by a serial killer and lived to tell about it. But it was actually her mother who told the story, in a bestselling book that made Marlie famous. Today, she s known as the girl who slayed a killer. The one who got away. Now, there s just one thing Marlie wants to get away from: her past. But when her little sister disappears, her worst fears comes rushing back with a vengeance
NOW SHE S GONE. Kenai Michelson is a world-renowned investigator. Dark, brooding, and dangerously good-looking, he s the kind of man Marlie would normally avoid at all costs. But Kenai is her only hope in finding her missing sister. Together, Kenai and Marlie follow a trail of clues that leads them toward the truth and into each other s arms. As her trust in Kenai grows, so does their fierce connection. But will their desire turn deadly as they close in on a ruthless enemy who s watching their every move?

Marlie Jacobson is the woman who has gotten better of a serial killer and also famous for it, though the latter bit isn’t any fault of her own. But things come to a head when her sister goes missing and the only option for her is to seek out a famous private investigator who is as much as an arse as his reputation seems to suggest. The search for her sister seems to suggest that a copycat is on the loose, but the answer is closer to home than they both think.

Written mostly in Marlier’s POV, the experience of her capture is made more horrific in the first person narrative, which I could certainly appreciate. I could empathise with her fear and the bouts of panic attacks that still assailed her many years after the incident, and Bella Jewel definitely captures that difficult time excellently in a number of flashbacks that shows the ghastliness of her abduction.

Yet ‘The Watcher’ was a mixed bag of tricks for me, though I honestly had no expectations coming into this except that it had an element of suspense that I always like. The plot wasn’t entirely unpredictable and I think the peripheral characters sort of gave away their motives away early as I figured out from the start (without having made all the connections fully) who really was responsible for the disappearance of Marlie’s sister.

I also found both Kenai and Marlie a little too extreme for my liking. After the initial sass between the both of them wore off, I couldn’t understand Marlie’s rather juvenile baiting of Kenai, just as I thought him too distant, rude and unfriendly towards her. They’d barely gotten to the grudging like part of the relationship, and it all happened too fast for me to believe that everything turned from smug ‘frenemies’ so quickly into love; instead, I though it was simply lust and adrenaline resulting from an intense number of days in a closed space and several gun fights. Their interactions did feel a little too dramatic at times and things got over the top especially at the end when the villain made me grimace rather than feel repulsively creeped out.

Perhaps it’s because of the first person POV, ‘The Watcher’ retains a new-adult-ish feel to it and it’s certainly a format and a style that I’m not accustomed to when it comes to romantic suspense. Nonetheless, it’s definitely a story for those who like their RS stories written in the first person which also aren’t police procedurals, with a strong romantic element that holds it altogether. There isn’t the laborious red-tape and a huge number of pieces to puzzle and labour through in this book, but there is instead, an emotional focus on 2 unlikely people coming together here and finding each other because of it, which is mostly likely good enough for the die-hard romantics.