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The Watcher

liked it 3.00  ·  Rating details ·  1,227 ratings  ·  260 reviews

She’s watching you, but who’s watching her?

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

Hardcover, 370 pages
Published December 29th 2016 by MIRA
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Paula Brandon Yes! Very much so. It's lazy characterisation. You can create a complex female character without making her "crazy", or a liar hiding some horrible se…moreYes! Very much so. It's lazy characterisation. You can create a complex female character without making her "crazy", or a liar hiding some horrible secret.(less)
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liked it Average rating 3.00  · 
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 ·  1,227 ratings  ·  260 reviews

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Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
* Thank you to Netgalley & the publisher for my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review*
*2.5 STARS*

Lily Gullick lives with her husband in a new and very stylish apartment in London. Opposite them are old council owned tower blocks that are due for demolition, but they still have tenants living in them. Lily becomes obsessed with her neighbours opposite and constantly uses binoculars to see exactly what they are up to. When firstly a student from the opposite block goes missing, and then a p
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
I really enjoyed this book for so many reasons. Firstly it was something a bit different, the writing style, the plot, the whole concept broke me away from a lot of books read this year that had been a bit "same-same" for want of a better description. It intrigued me from page one and I was super curious as to where it was going to take me.

The book is written in the first person, almost like journal format but more free-flowing than just diary entries. For this reason we are in the main charact
Rachel Hall
Given that I have never seen an Alfred Hitchcock film and I had no idea of the premise of his 1954 classic, Rear Window, I suspect that this novel was somewhat wasted on me, the more well-disguised hat tips to the man and his films undoubtedly were. For the uninitiated, Rear Window centres on a wheelchair-bound photographer who spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced that one of them has committed murder. Knowing this makes what follows in this overly lengthy four ...more
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I went into this really not knowing what to expect.

The Watcher is something totally different from anything that I've read in a while. For a start it is written in the first person, totally from the viewpoint of the main protagonist, so you really get a sense of what all her thoughts and feelings are as she's experiencing them. Lilly is married to Aiden and lives in a newly built block of flats overlooking a block of flats that have been designated to come down to make way for a new development
Erin (from Long Island, NY)
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 rounded up! What a surprise! Sometimes you go in expecting something extraordinary & sometimes not necessarily.. Well this book blew me away! I listened to the audio, it was a relatively short 1 (8 hours,) & i totally recommend it! The narrator did a great job as Lilly & really accentuated her attitude & mindset. It's funny.. With a lot of my "silly" psychological thrillers, the story gets completely swept up in the twists (& red herrings) & the "major reveal." In this 1- it was the opposite ...more
Liz Barnsley
Sep 26, 2016 rated it liked it
**3.5 stars**

The Watcher is an interesting psychological thriller especially with reference to the main character voice. There were things I both loved and didn't love about it but overall I found it highly intriguing and addictive.

Full review and more in depth reasoning nearer publication. But I'm going to recommend it to fans of this genre for sure because its got that certain *something*
Zuky the BookBum
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars, 2016
My author Q&A is now live on my blog! Go check it out:

...some lies, even errors and guesses, do turn out to be true.

Stay clear of most the reviews on this book so far because I accidentally skimmed over them and got some stuff ruined! Ugh! I promise I won’t spoil anything in my review!

I really like Armstrong’s style of writing, this is a fantastic debut. It’s fast paced, witty and thrilling!

The plot was so intriguing and entertaining, which is why I d
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lily Gullick lives in a newbuild block of flats in London. Her apartment building, and those around her, are full of young professionals. However, the area she lives in is currently being regenerated and, directly opposite her own, new building, is a much older council estate. Half of this estate is now empty and the residents being re-housed; much to the displeasure of many of those who live there, including an elderly lady, named Jean, who is vocal about her feelings on the matter. Lily is tor ...more
Cody | CodysBookshelf
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Release Date: 04.25.17

Ross Armstrong's forthcoming debut novel, The Watcher, is a stylish and experimental challenge — one that will surely leave many a reader scratching his or her head when the story is done, but not without a faint sense of satisfaction . . . an inkling that something unique was just experienced.

Lily, the protagonist, lives in a new apartment building with her husband, Aiden. An avid bird watcher, she has taken to watching the people in the apartment building next to hers.
Melissa Souza
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
* Thank you to Netgalley & the publisher for my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review*

4 stars!!!

When I first started reading this book, I seriously had no idea what to expect but I have to say the story took me completely by surprise.

The story starts off with a woman named Lily who lives with her husband Aiden in a new-build apartment. The community in which she lives is going through a process of gentrification. Lily, as an avid bird watcher, uses her hobby to spy on her neighbours' live
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The first word that comes to mind when I think of this book: confusion .

First off, I LOVE psychological thrillers. I love any type of book that messes with my mind and confuses me. Any book that keeps me guessing, keeps me on the edge of my seat and really has me use my brain. It doesn't matter whether it's a thriller that has elements of crime or a book such as Shutter Island for example (which really is more about the main character's mental state and what he's done rather than a crime that
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I so wanted to like this book after hearing mainly good things about it. I really struggled and it took me a couple of weeks to finish it which is a long time for me. I just found the whole plot really confusing. Sadly not one for me.
Vikki Patis
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Many thanks to the author, publisher & NetGalley for providing a review copy.

Following on from the success of Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train, we're seeing an influx of psychological thrillers, coupled with unreliable narrators and shocking twists. I'm by no means complaining - I love a good thriller, especially one that takes me completely by surprise, as The Watcher did.

Lily has just moved into a block of new flats in North London. They're still knocking down some old flats across the way
Aug 23, 2017 rated it liked it
I am notsure of the rating for this one. I really liked the plot and a lot of the story; I did care much for the delivery. There was a moment in the book that was psychological twisted and appeared out of the blue which drew me up short, but other than this one small storyline; from then on this was not developed much; I wondered if I really read this part correctly. Did that actually happen? I also could not relate to the main character's voice and there were so many uunanswered questions at th ...more
Louise Wilson
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
The watcher is watching you but who is watching the watcher.

Married couple, Lily & Adam Gullick live in a new build flat across the road from an estate that's to be demolished. Lily is a keen birdwatcher but she can't help herself from spying on her neighbours. Then one day Lily spots something suspicious and then her elderly neighbour is found dead. Will Lily's interference go unnoticed as she unravel she the truth?

This is an enjoyable read. Worth taking a look at.

I would like to thank NetGalle
Jul 25, 2016 rated it liked it
In this thriller, Lily and her husband Aiden have recently moved into a flat in a new build block, and Lily becomes fascinated by watching her neighbours. The block across from her is old council flats that are due to be demolished, but there are still people living there. Then a student goes missing and another woman is murdered, the night after Lily paid her a visit. Lily starts her own investigation into the crime, but it's clear that she is not mentally stable.

This is an easy-to-read thrille
Mike Sumner
Jan 30, 2017 rated it liked it
It started so well. 90 pages in and the legend on the cover that said "The Girl On The Train meets Rear Window" had a ring of authenticity. Our prime protagonist Lily is supposed to be a keen birdwatcher although she does little of that with her binoculars, preferring to spy on the residents of adjoining apartment blocks. She regales her husband Aiden with her take on their daily lives. Or does she? Careful here. Spoilers to be avoided. But then she sees something suspicious in a neighbouring to ...more
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019-read
I am struggling with the rating.

I struggled to get into the plot line, get a realistic feeling of the characters, which I think may be why I really didn't like or enjoy the book full stop so based on this I would normally say 1*.

I personally don't know how realistic the book is, but think that the issues dealt with were quietly and subtly introduced and handled in caring manner which gives it maybe a 3*.
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This fabulous book is a tense and terrifying journey into the world of Lily Gullick a young woman who sees something strange and worrying whilst bird watching from the window of her brand new apartment in a contemporary tower block which she and her husband Aidan bought some time ago.

From childhood Lily has been a keen birdwatcher, taught by her Dad to record and identify the different species she spots and living up here with a balcony overlooking a reservoir it’s the ideal pastime to while awa
Karen Mace
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
She's watching you. But who's watching her?.........

This tagline perfectly sums up this rather chilling thriller that i've just had the pleasure to read! Definitely a book full of twists and turns and quite a sinister undertone that leaves you guessing right up until the last few pages!

This is the story of Lily, and told from her point of view. Life is seemingly perfect for her and her husband, Aiden, as they live in London in their lovely new build flat. As in many parts of London, they overloo
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book reviews on

This felt like something a little different, in terms of its writing style and interesting storyline. The story is told from the perspective of Lily, through her journal-style entries she's writing to someone - we're not sure who for most of the novel - and so we see her thoughts, feelings and actions in her own voice. This voice tells the story in quite an odd narrative style, using very short, often disjointed sentences, and though I know this is Lily's voic
Michael Cayley
Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: general-fiction
Lily, mentally unstable, and her husband Aiden have moved into a new flat in London. On the other side of the road council housing is being demolished. Lily spies on neighbours. One of them, Jean, is found dead the day after Lily visits her. Lily decides to investigate, but seems herself to be watched.

This is a psychological thriller with an unreliable narrator - the story is told from Lily's viewpoint. My main trouble with the book was that I never managed to relate to her. I also found the sty
Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
The backcover blurb on this book compares it to The Girl on the Train – which I guess is the post-Gone Girl benchmark for psychological thrillers. It is reminiscent of the popular book as we’re in the head of a narrator who may not be entirely reliable, trustworthy, or well… sane.

Although I wasn’t captivated immediately, I was most certainly intrigued – and occasionally confused (as I’m sure we’re meant to be) – as I wondered where Lily was leading us.

I should preface this by mentioning I receiv
I don't really know how to review this book. It's a little strange - yup definately strange and it was difficult to get into. Lily Gullick lives life through her binoculars and her world is out world as she narrates the novel in first person. I can't say I felt comfortable inside her head but I suppose that was the point.

She starts to obsess over the life of those in the flats opposite - people watching in the extreme - but before long she starts to see things she doesn't want to. And this is wh
Nov 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, mystery-thriller
Lily Gullick has just moved into a gentrified part of London. A keen birdwatcher and an even keener neighbour watcher, she keeps a log of her observations on both species.

One morning, Lily wakes up to the news that a resident of one of the council estates in the area has been found dead at home. What better opportunity to put her nosiness to good use?

The Watcher is written in first person, and it feels like Lily is having a chat with the reader. She is sharp, funny, not always easy to understan
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 out of 5 stars

Special thanks to HarperCollins NZ for sending me this book for review.

Lily has just moved into a new block of apartments in East London and equipped with her binoculars, she begins spying on her neighbours. It isn’t long before her imagination runs wild after witnessing a strange event and when a woman is found murdered, her mind goes into overdrive trying to connect the dots.

This is incredibly well written. From the very first sentence “I look in her direction” to the ominous
Carol Irvin
Jan 21, 2018 marked it as abandoned-books
Not my cup of tea. Onto the next book!
Elle A
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short chapters, which keep the story going quickly. This book is also known by The Watcher. I loved it!!
Lynn Mccarthy
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Watcher is narrated by Lily - an odd woman who spends her spare time spying on her neighbours and creating back stories for them. When she thinks one of her neighbours has been murdered, she sets out to find the killer, but as the reader starts to question her grip on reality we wonder... Is there someone out there, or is it in her head?
There are more twists and turns and you wonder how Lily’s mind – and body – will ever survive. Can she ever really catch the killer before he gets her? Curio
Fiona Mccormick
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of this book as an arc.
The storyline of this book sounded great but I'm afraid I didn't really enjoy this book. I felt that it was very confusing and by the end I still wasn't sure what was real and what was an illusion. I'm sure other people will love this book, however, I think it is was the unreliable narrator in this one that I couldn't relate to.
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Ross Armstrong is an actor and writer based in North London. He studied English Literature at Warwick University and acting at RADA. He's performed on stage with the RSC in shows such as Oppenheimer in the West End and with the Donmar in Hamlet on Broadway, as well as numerous TV appearances including Foyles War, Jonathan Creek, Mr Selfridge, DCI Banks and the upcoming series of Ripper Street. The ...more

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