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I Spy

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  413 ratings  ·  123 reviews
Someone is watching your every move…

Holly Lawrence always wanted to be a spy, but the experience proved more dangerous than anything she imagined. Now, Holly lives in hiding under an assumed name. She avoids relationships and trusts no one.

But Holly’s new life begins to unravel when she encounters a young mother and her two-year-old child… a child who reminds her of a past
ebook, 400 pages
Published August 1st 2019 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  413 ratings  ·  123 reviews

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I Spy with my little eye a good book! Claire Kendal cleverly blends a spy thriller with a psychological thriller in this compelling story. This was a riveting and refreshing read that kept me guessing. Holly always wanted to be a spy and her dream almost came true. Unfortunately Holly didn't make the final cut and instead found herself working in a hospital. FlashForward a few years and Holly is approached by MI5 to spy on her partner Zac. However Holly is not privy as to why she needs to be ...more
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We are introduced to Holly who is being interviewed to become a spy, all her studies seem to have payed off until the last hurdle where she fails!!

Holly moves on and marries Zak. She is approached by the woman who interviewed her for the spy job and asks her to spy on someone close to her. This drastically changes the course of her life causing Holly to pack up and flee.

Holly now called Helen is working at the hospital when she meets Eliza and her daughter Alice. Is someone spying on her?

Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I really enjoyed Second Sister by Claire Kendal and was delighted to be asked to read her new book I Spy.
This book started off well for me but because the timeline jumped about I found the story confusing.
Holly always wanted to be a spy but things became complicated and dangerous when she was asked to spy on her partner.
She is now in hiding and in fear for her safety.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Harper Collins for me e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Liz Barnsley
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I Spy is a cleverly twisted two pronged tale, with an intriguing premise and some engaging characters.

Holly is hiding from the world, a failed attempt at espionage haunting her. Told in past and present we discover what happened to Holly, why a chance encounter with a child sets her on a dangerous path and who may be watching her every move…

There are some terrifically unexpected elements to this story, keeping you turning the pages. It is a kind of domestic noir/spy thriller hybrid written with
Louise Wilson
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Holly Lawrence's ambition is to become a spy. But her experience proved to be more dangerous than she imagined. Now she has to live hiding away, under an assumed name. She can't trust anyone. But now her new live is beginning to unravel. This time,someone is spying on Holly. But how far is she willing to go to survive?

I liked the authors style in writing this book, even though it is a little complex. She dealt with abuse, coercive relationships and baby loss with sensitivity. The characters are
Overall, I liked this thriller. It is quite complex and has a great number of twists where you just aren't sure who is good and who is not. It could have been a 4 star for me, but I really didn't like the ending, and there was a lot about Zac that I didn't care for.
(view spoiler)
Carla Johnson-Hicks
3.5 stars rounded up. The description of the book states, "A psychological thriller unlike anything you’ve read before..." and that is certainly true. I had a hard time getting into this story and had to start over after listening to a few chapters. That allowed me to get my bearings and follow the story. It is told in two timelines a couple of years apart. Holly narrates the story sharing her experiences as a spy for M15, which cost her something very dear.

She wanted a job with M15, but after
Oct 02, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a thriller of sorts. I liked the 1st person POV. It worked well here. There was a lot of toggling around in the time lines. That isn't my favorite, but it worked with the story line. Although, at times, it felt overused.

The overall pace was fast. There were so many twists in this. I think I liked that the most. It never got boring....a little far fetched...but never boring. The ending didn't feel satisfying, but I loved the last twist. It fit perfectly to the MC. So that redeemed the
Aug 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 400

Publisher - Harper Collins

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Someone is watching your every move…

Holly Lawrence always wanted to be a spy, but the experience proved more dangerous than anything she imagined. Now, Holly lives in hiding under an assumed name. She avoids relationships and trusts no one.

But Holly’s new life begins to unravel when she encounters a young mother and her two-year-old child… a child who reminds her of a past she has tried hard
Julie Lacey
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book took me a while to get into but then I was hooked.
The chapters are a bit erratic if you look at the date/year but if you just get in your mind it’s kind of a before and after the event, it’ll help.
Holly has moved on with her life, or so she thinks, and then the past creeps up on her.
This is a hard one to review as even talking about her life before it happens could spoil it for you.
I can say this is an engrossing book that definitely keeps your attention, and is one of those books
Not for me at all, although I did finish it (hence two stars and not one). A pageturner for sure but the story, for me, is utterly unbelievable and implausible, told with a confused structure and populated by some very unlikely and unpleasant people. I stuck with it to see how it would end, expecting something rather clever, but it wasn't in the least and made me wish I hadn't read it. Fortunately, a fast read.
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is really enjoyable read and a mystery with a difference, the spying aspect of the story was very different and I loved the character of Holly. Told from alternating timelines it makes a compulsive read that I found entertaining, well written and something different from the norm. I have been on a run of excellent books recently so I am always apprehensive when starting a new one but this really did hit the mark and I look forward to reading more from Claire Kendal in the future. So if you ...more
Aug 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Started out intriguing but interest waned the further I read...
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, drama
A great spy thriller from an unexpected author!

PLOT SUMMARY: For as long as she can remember, Holly has wanted to work for MI5 as a spy. She comes close to achieving her dreams, only to be rejected at the last interview. She has every right to be disappointed, but what else has happened in her life to make her so fearful? Why has she left her surrogate family behind and taken on an alias? Who is she running from, and why?

Alongside this narrative, we see Holly from the past. Through her alternate
Rosemary Standeven
Jul 31, 2019 rated it liked it
I was looking forward to reading this book, having read some very good reviews of it, but it did not quite work for me. One problem for me was the main protagonist and narrator, Holly/Helen. I could not warm to her at all. I definitely had sympathy for her in relation to her controlling boyfriend Zac (a thoroughly dislikeable man), but that is as far as it went. The portrayal of the slow drip, drip of increasing control and cutting Holly off from her friends was very realistic and chilling. ...more
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Claire Kendal returns with another interesting psychological thriller. In her former “The Second Sister”, a woman uncovers secrets about her sister while trying to find her, but now our protagonist‘s life turns upside down after she encounters a woman and her two-year-old child, in which she sees something she’s trying so hard to run away from in the past.

I love the adventurous feel to this author’s books, and I Spy definitely has Kendal’s signature style. This book covers some serious topics
Crystal Hiatt
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: wom2019-nyn
This wasn't a great reading experience. From the beginning, I had a hard time getting into the story because of the writing style. There wasn't a good flow to the sequence of events and the spy thing felt almost secondary. Overall, the plot felt implausible if not ridiculous. Another qualm is the main character, Holly. She is weak, lacking in self worth and confidence, and reeks of uncertainty.
Jess Clayton
This book didn't wow me. It is really difficult for me to rate because I actually felt like the writing was good! If I had to guess, my feelings about the book are more than likely based on the story. It was just too far-fetched.

The book begins with Holly interviewing for MI5 (spy network) but she isn't able to answer one very important question and isn't selected. Then we jump forward years later, and she is in an abusive relationship, living below her potential and still dreaming of being a
Aug 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Trigger Warning: (view spoiler)

Firstly I would like to thank HarperCollins Publishers and Claire Kendal for sending me an ARC copy of this book. All views and opinions shared here are my own.

I Spy follows the story of Holly Lawrence, a want to be spy who is thrown into a dangerous experience after falling in love with the wrong person. Holly is living under an assumed name
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
When we first meet Holly she has just failed her interview to be a spy. Devastated, she picks herself up and gets on with her life. Fast forward several years and Holly is in hiding, living under an assumed name. She's ticking over nicely, mostly, until a random encounter with a young mother and her daughter in the hospital where she works sets off a warning in her head. Has her past come back to bite her? Along with this worry comes the feeling that she is being watched, the wannabe "spy" is ...more
Kate (beautifulbookland)
I probably would have given this book four stars had I rated it immediately after finishing, but given the fact that I finished this a few weeks ago and can’t really remember much about it, coupled with the slightly disappointing ending, result in a three star rating.

The thing is, I really enjoyed this book while I was actually reading it, but in between reading sessions I wasn’t really excited by picking it up again, ya know? And then it got to the point near the end where I really didn’t fully
Johnna Whetstone
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was so excited to get this book, and tried to start it immediately but just couldn’t get into it, eventually I did. I couldn’t give 5 stars, because the beginning just sort of left me not wanting to delve further, but when I finally made myself I did enjoy, so I would give a solid 4 stars! I think it’s written in that style I Kendal seems to use, and it’s a good one to utilize with thrillers. Very chilling, thrilling, and shocking, after the initial few chapters.
Will recommend to the members
"I Spy" was a marvellous read that had me totally gripped from the start. With a fantastic plot-line and brilliant characters, this was a superb psychological thriller that kept me guessing throughout. This amazing novel by Claire Kendal should certainly not be missed. A magnificent and very worthwhile read and a fully deserved five stars!

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from HarperCollins UK via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
A.J. Waines
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a polished, intelligent read with a fabulous sense of increasing jeopardy. I always love the author’s refined, poised and elegant writing style with flecks of detail that make it truly special. The MI5 spy-theme is a clever touch and brought a new angle to this kind of domestic noir psychological thriller. Highly recommended!
Renny Barcelos
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
✴ Cindy ✴
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked the mystery, but felt it was a little too long. It kept me guessing about how it was all going to wrap up. The ending was good, but I'd have liked to actually see the eventuality of her revenge instead of having it alluded to. I felt she deserved it for all she went through.
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
round up to 4.5 stars.
May 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not a great storyline, difficult to follow and characters I didn’t really care about.
I struggled to finish it, so, although I’m sure it’s got an audience, it’s not me.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the opportunity to preview.
Aug 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I spy is told from the POV of Helen/Holly in both present day and two years prior as she attempts to live her new life under an assumed name. That is until it all begins to unravel and she's forced to face the life she once fought to escape.

Now I DID like this book for the most part, it was a slow-ish burner but I was kept interested enough for the big twists which I did really enjoy. Although it was devastating to read, the relationship between Helen and Zac was so realistic, I think Kendal's
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'I Spy' was an enjoyable read and one that grabbed me from the beginning. I must admit that i did find the jumping in timelines a little confusing at first, but soon got used to this. There were many twists and turns and whereas i can often guess what is going to happen at the end, i didn't. A very well written book and one that i can certainly recommend. Hope to read more books by Claire Kendal.

My thanks to Netgalley and the Publishers for my copy. This is my honest review.
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Claire Kendal's first novel was THE BOOK OF YOU. It was a Sunday Times bestseller and a Richard & Judy Book Club pick. THE SECOND SISTER was published in 2017. Coming 2019 ... I SPY Claire teaches English Literature and Creative Writing, and lives in the South West of England with her family. ...more
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