“Everyone has parts of themselves they’re ashamed of, that they hide. Desperate people do desperate things. Not always on purpose. But sometimes.”
Holly Monroe – a twenty-two year old med student who comes from a prestigious family who own a pharmaceutical company. Holly’s mother died when she was born, so Holly grew up with her domineering father, her cold and calculating stepmother, and a stepsister that adores her. Her father uses her to further his business interests. The only reason she went into medicine is to please her father, but now she has had enough and wants out. She takes a summer babysitting job looking after Jacob, the six-year-old son of Sarah and Daniel Goldman. When she gets to know them, she wishes they were her family. She loves them and wants to have Sarah as a mother figure. Holly is so very desperate for love and acceptance that in recent years she has done some degrading things in her quest for approval.
Sarah Goldman – is in her early forties and is very much a ‘helicopter Mom’ to her son Jacob. She is insecure, neurotic, and paranoid. She installs nanny cams throughout her house to spy on Holly. She discovers Holly’s secrets – and finds that she cannot live with what she has found. She suspects her husband of having an affair with Holly too. She cannot wait to leave Vancouver and start over in Toronto.
When the Goldman’s arrive at their rental house in Toronto, Sarah discovers several hidden cameras installed… In addition, she encounters a pushy neighbour, and a creepy ‘neighbourhood watch‘ man across the street. And to make matters worse, her son’s favourite toy rabbit was lost in the move – until it was found on the bed in her son’s new bedroom…
Then come the threatening text messages…
First I have to say… the title of this book is perfect! “Watch Out For Her” meaning ‘be careful, she is a threat’ AND “Watch Out For Her” meaning ‘take care of her’.
This is a dual-time line, dual setting domestic thriller. We first meet the protagonists when they live in Vancouver. An affluent family who hires a babysitter for the summer so that the mother can devote her time to her photography. Then, when the summer turns sour, the family pack up and move to Toronto – to make a fresh start… away from the babysitter.
Every adult in this novel is harboring dark secrets. The subterfuge and voyeurism is oftentimes disturbing. I waffled between liking the mother and disliking her intensely. I waffled between feeling sympathy for the babysitter and liking her, to shaking my head at some of the distasteful things she does.
The author keeps the reader on tenterhooks. You wonder who to root for, who to trust.
This is a thriller that explores how far people will go to hide their shameful secrets and how much they would do to feel acceptance and affection. A domestic drama that should please fans of the genre. Recommended.I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Simon & Schuster via Edelweiss – at my request, for my own reading enjoyment & the writing of this review. “Watch Out For Her” will be published on April 26th, 2022 and you can pre-order now!
ISBN: 9781982155193 – 336 pages
Samantha M. Bailey is the USA TODAY and #1 nationally bestselling author of Woman on the Edge, which has sold in eleven countries to date. She is also a journalist and freelance editor; her work has appeared in NOW Magazine, The Village Post, The Thrill Begins, and The Crime Hub, among other publications. Watch Out for Her is her second novel. Samantha lives in Toronto, where she’s currently working on her next book. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @SBaileyBooks and on her website at SamanthaMBailey.com.