“I see you” by Clare Mackintosh – Book Review

Last year my #1 thriller read was “I let you go” by Clare Mackintosh.  It was a debut novel and I couldn’t imagine that she could possibly retain that caliber in a second novel.

She did!

“I see you” has two main female protagonists.

Forty year old Zoe Walker, who works in London and commutes every day in the London Underground.  One day in November, after a long and tiring day she is on her way home in the subway when she sees a ‘singles advert’ with a picture of a woman who looks like HER! That is strange enough in and of itself, until she realizes that on other days other woman are pictured and one of them has recently been murdered!

Zoe lives with her partner Simon and her two grown children, Justin and Katie.  She left her ex-husband Matt when he was unfaithful, though she now realizes that he does still love her.  She married Matt when she was very young as her pregnancy with Justin interrupted their plans. Her children do not understand why she left their father as she has never fully explained his infidelity.  Justin in particular has never taken to her new partner Simon and is not afraid to show his animosity.

Kelly Swift is a young, keen, ambitious, and very talented copper.  She has an identical twin sister, Lexi, who although now happily married and the mother of two boys – was raped while attending university.  Kelly took the trauma of the rape even harder than Lexi did, and still suffers from nightmares.  Four years ago, when working a rape case, she lost control and attacked a suspect.  She was ‘off sick‘ for nine months and then reinstated to duty as a PC.  A demotion as punishment for losing control.   When Zoe Walker telephones her and alerts her to the ‘adverts’ her detective’s nose senses something deeper.  It seems that other crimes against women can be connected to the adverts…  When the team in charge of the latest murder dismiss her concerns she contacts her old boss to put in a good word for her.  He does and she is transferred temporarily to the Murder Investigation Team. When her new DI recognizes the validity of her concerns that the murder is directly connected to the newspaper advertisements, Operation FURNISS is opened. They trace the adverts to a website: In two weeks , due to savvy police work, they connect three murders, six sexual assaults, and more than a dozen other crimes against women directly to the adverts.

Meanwhile, Zoe Walker and many other women are being targeted and are in real danger.

This was a FANTASTIC crime thriller – reminding me why I love the genre!  It contained every element that I appreciate.  A tight plot, well fleshed out characters, a red-herring or two, a couple of jaw-dropping twists and an ending that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand to attention.  Well done Clare Mackintosh!!

Although “I see you” is a stand-alone novel, I personally would LOVE to see policewoman Kelly Swift return in further novels.  She was a great character.  

I am grateful to Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this great novel.

If you think this sounds like your type of read, you can 

and “I see you” can be purchased from the following retailers:




Clare Mackintosh is an author, feature writer and columnist. She has written for The Guardian, Sainsbury’s Magazine, The Green Parent, and many other national publications, and is a columnist for Cotswold Life and Writing Magazine.

Clare spent twelve years in the police force, working on CID, in custody and as a public order commander, and has drawn on her experiences for her psychological thrillers. She left the police in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist and social media consultant, and now writes full time. Clare’s debut novel, I Let You Go, was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller for 12 weeks, and was the fastest selling title by a new crime writer in 2015. It was selected for both the Richard and Judy Book Club and ITV’s Loose Women’s ‘Loose Books’, and has been translated into more than 30 languages. It has sold more than a million copies worldwide. In July 2016 Clare received the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award, and won the Cognac Prix du Polar for International Novel of the Year that autumn. She lives in North Wales with her husband and their three children.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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15 Responses to “I see you” by Clare Mackintosh – Book Review

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  5. bibliobeth says:

    Really looking forward to this, I loved the author’s debut and now I’m just even more excited just reading your review!!


  6. madbooklove says:

    I loved I Let You Go so much, and was really looking forward to I See You. Then the reviews started coming in and they weren’t as good, so I was nervous. But, I really, really loved it. It was very different from I Let You Go, but amazing all on its own. And I had the same feeling about Kelly Swift. Perfect character for a series.


    • Fictionophile says:

      So great to hear from another Kelly Swift fan. Glad you enjoyed “I see you” as much as I did. Thanks for your comment.


  7. I’ve got this coming up soon 😃


  8. Donna says:

    I have been dying to read this author’s work! i’m happy this book didn’t disappoint!


    • Fictionophile says:

      Hope you get a chance to try Clare Mackintosh’s novels. I so admire a novelist that can keep the quality of writing consistent, as I imagine it is very difficult.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post! Have both these books on my tbr and must bump them up to the top!


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