THE PEOPLE WATCHER SAM LLOYD ****
If you missed them, check out my other reviews of books from Sam Lloyd:
'I watch them because I think they need help.'
Mercy Lake likes to fix things. To fix people. Trapped inside during daylight hours, hostage to her phobias, she uses the cover of night to watch the people in her town. And if someone needs her help, she steps in - secretly and with compassion.
When Mercy meets Louis, her lonely, unusual life is suddenly filled with excitement. Because Louis likes intervening in other people's lives too, only he prefers a more direct - even violent - approach. As they grow closer, Mercy is enchanted but frightened by his actions. How many lines is he willing to cross? And how much is he prepared to risk?
And then there's Nadia. Nadia knows she's being watched, even if the police think differently. But with her own secrets to protect, she's not going to wait around for the watcher to make their move. She's going to stop them dead.
'Small acts of kindness are far less effective than fear'
I previously enjoyed Sam Lloyd’s debut of The Memory Wood, but was a little disappointed with his next book The Rising Tide. As both of them were standalones I was excited to read his next offering – The People Watcher.
Our main character Mercy Lake is somewhat eccentric and weird - she suffers with a head injury that has resulted in vertigo and a fear of the daylight. She watches people at night – giving them nicknames and studying their backstories, trying to find small ways to help them. Mercy is a really interesting main character and learning more about her certainly kept me hooked into the narrative, wanting to find out more. We learn from the first chapter that she has a darker side as well and you aren’t really sure if you should be rooting for her or not as the story progresses.
The pace is kept quite high throughout, and the reader is constantly being drip-fed information, particularly regarding Mercy’s backstory as the story progresses. I’m afraid much of the plot was very predictable, some even from the outset which kept this from being a 5-star read for me. It was interesting to see all of the strands come together though and even the smaller stories about the people Mercy watches were interesting. I was a little disappointed with the ending which felt a bit too abrupt and there were some holes in the backstory which didn’t make too much sense with hindsight.
Overall, The People Watcher is a solid read, it kept me gripped and had a really unique main character – just a few things kept it from being a 5 star read. Sam Lloyd certainly is an author to watch out for and I’m excited to see what he writes next. Thank you to NetGalley & Random House UK, Transworld Publishers – Bantam for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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