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Watch Out for Me

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  26 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Everything about them seemed atavistic, elemental-wild hair matted like savages, jutting shoulders and collarbones, sharply angular limbs. The movement and wonder were captured and held in suspense, eternally. And in the foreground, slightly off-centre, one of the smallest children, a boy, looking bright-eyed and haunting up through the chaos, straight through to the camer ...more
Paperback, 319 pages
Published 2011 by Allen & Unwin
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Helen McKenna
It’s a typical Australian summer in 1967. Long hot days, the childhood freedom to roam and explore to your heart’s content (as you could back then), sunburn and bare feet. Four children (three siblings and their cousin) are holidaying at a beach shack in the small town of Bradley’s Head. Amidst their idyllic summer holiday, a baby goes missing and the children tell a lie to keep themselves out of trouble. Of course they have no way of foreseeing what dire consequences their seemingly small fib w ...more
Well, there I was telling you that I hardly ever read thrillers, and here’s the second one I’ve read within a week.

Maybe, if they were all as good as this one, I’d read more of them.

Most so-called thrillers are so overt in the way that they manipulate the reader, they bore me to tears.

But Watch Out for Me is way better than that. Richard Flanagan (The Unknown Terrorist) and Sandy McCutcheon (The Haha Man) both used the thriller genre to tackle the issue of global panic and public hysteria about
Four children telling a lie to stay out of trouble and a man shot in the head in London 40 years later. Obviously there's some sort of connection as they are both elements of WATCH OUT FOR ME by Sylvia Johnson. What's always intriguing with these sorts of unlikely components, is how and where the author is going to take the reader.

WATCH OUT FOR ME is an intriguing and complex debut psychological thriller. Told in a series of short chapters attributed mostly to those children, their story bounces
As a New Zealander I love the evocations of dry-grass/ hot-sand/burnt barbecue-by-the-rocks childhood delivered in blunt dialect familiar to all of us who have grown up in the southern antipodes. Sylvia Johnson captures the discomfort of childhood along with its joys and easily demonstrates how one can end-up out-balancing the other, tainting even our sub-conscious memories and shaping our adulthood. But more important is the way in which Johnson builds suspense, adding piece after intriguing pi ...more
I must admit, I don't usually go for Australian literature. I just have never had much luck with those choices...

I chose this book purely because it was a new release and the front cover caught my eye.

In a wrap - it's a good read but not a GREAT read. The storyline fluctuates all over the place (present, past, Morocco, Australia) and something doesn't seem quite right (in the storyline) but it's hard to put your finger on what exactly is off. I guess that's why it's successful in pulling you in
I love the Australian child summer memories this book journeys back to - but there is too much back n forth w the characters, time frames, countries. I think you need more than 1-2 pages each chapter/character build. I liked the twist in the story but have been left hanging on the ending.
I decided to get out of my comfort zone and read a mystery/thriller written by a female author. Hmmm must admit I prefer Lee Child, Harlen Coben etc.
Laura Johnson
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