After eight years on the West Coast Grace McMullen has come home to Kentucky. Well, this is where she grew up and where her father still lives, if that’s how you define home. And her father finally seems to’ve settled down to just one woman for a change. Seems he and fidelity weren’t exactly on speaking terms for most of his marriage to Grace’s adoptive mother who is now in prison. Seeing her father isn’t the reason for Grace’s return though. She wants to apologize to her ex-boyfriend, Sutton Whitlock, for messing up his life when she broke up with him. It was for his own good but still, she wants to apologize for hurting him. Grace decides to observe Sutton and his family before approaching him so she “accidentally” meets and befriends his wife Campbell who looks enough like Grace to be her sister. What’s even creepier, their baby daughter is named Grace, but Sutton calls her Gigi. Soon enough, Grace suspects that Sutton has changed and is now a control freak and physically abusive. Can she convince Campbell to take the baby and run? Can the girl who doesn’t like to get involved suddenly be responsible for another person’s welfare?
The plot in “The Watcher Girl” has some twists and turns and I like Kent’s writing style. As to characters, Grace isn’t especially likable. She’s standoffish, physically undemonstrative and doesn’t like to be touched, all of which adds to her feelings of being unworthy or unlovable. She’s in her own head way too much with tons of self-doubt, overthinking most every comment or gesture. Despite that, she seems to be trying to come to terms with her history and winds up getting into a situation she might not survive. Where I grew up, that’s referred to as a “come to Jesus” moment. “The Watcher Girl” by Minka Kent is my Kindle First selection for April and I had trouble putting it down last night. Psychological thrillers are one of my favorite genres and this one kept me on the edge of my seat. Four stars.
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