The Watcher by Ross Armstrong.

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About the Book

Lily Gullick lives with her husband Aiden in a new-build flat opposite an estate which has been marked for demolition. A keen birdwatcher, she can’t help spying on her neighbours.
Until one day Lily sees something suspicious through her binoculars and soon her elderly neighbour Jean is found dead. Lily, intrigued by the social divide in her local area as it becomes increasingly gentrified, knows that she has to act. But her interference is not going unnoticed, and as she starts to get close to the truth, her own life comes under threat.
But can Lily really trust everything she sees?

My Review

The Watcher was definitely be one of the strangest books that I have read during 2016. Lily lives in an upmarket flat that is across the road from a block of flats that is being demolished to make way for more luxury accommodation. She is a keen birdwatcher and spends a lot of time looking for birds and spying on her neighbours from her home. This occupies her time whilst her husband Aiden is busy writing his novel and barely communicating.
When she witnesses an assault in another flat she decides to investigate and goes across to the building site where there are a few groups of people who are refusing to leave their homes and are squatting in the flats whilst they are demolished around them. The consequences of this has a huge impact on her life.
Told from Lily’s point of view throughout its like you are reading a journal where she is talking to somebody but the reader doesn’t know who. She becomes more obsessed and at times less likeable although she did make me laugh.
It was strange to read, I could visualise all the new luxury flats in colour along with their wealthy owners and the mainly empty properties with its handful of occupants in black and white. I also thought I knew what was going to happen but I was completely wrong. After about two thirds of the novel something was revealed that was completely unexpected and left me dumbfounded. Thankfully it was a twist that worked very well and left me wanting to read it again.
A very clever storyline, and a well written debut novel.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.

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