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I'm Watching You - Karen Rose

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4 Reviews

Author: Karen Rose / Genre: Crime / Thriller

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    4 Reviews
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      20.02.2011 19:00
      Very helpful



      A great book. 'Chick crime' at its best

      I'm Watching You is the third book by Karen Rose focusing on Kristen Matthews, prosecutor, and Detective Abe Reagan.

      Kristen Matthews is a hard working and driven prosecutor who is being targetted by a vigilanti fan who believes that the criminals who Kristen didn't manage to put away should die for their crimes. Kristen is forced to work with Det Abe Reagan who is not her biggest fan. As they begin to work together Kristen and Abe begin to realise that their mutual hostility is disappearing and being replaced by attraction. Throughout the investigation bodies pile up and outside influences begin to come into play leaving Kristen is danger. Abe risks his life to protect Kristen. As people close to Kristen begin to be hurt and the killer begins to close in on Kristen's life Abe and his team must hunt down the vigilante and stop him before innocent people get hurt.

      That's all I really want to say about the actual plot as much more will ruin it for you!!

      Rose has an innate ability to create characters who are less than perfect. Too often we read books where the heroine and hero are absolutely amazing individuals without flaws and problems. Rose's characters are real. You can identify with them, sympathise with them and develop a love for them.

      Kristen is an amazing woman. On the surface she is calm, controlled and intelligent rising carefully through the ranks to become a star prosecutor. Personally speaking Kristen is a mess. Her life is basic and empty and she is troubled by the past that has had a deep and profound impact upon her current life. Abe Reagan awakes in her something she didn't expect, want or can cope with.

      Abe is a good detective haunted by his recent past and unable to remain calm. Kristen makes him feel alive and he desperately wants her to stay alive. He feels confused and self conscietious as well as a little bit unfaithful.

      The satalite characters in the book are beautiffuly written and make complete sense. You end up feeling understanding and compassion for almost all of the characters wishing you could get to know them more.

      Rose has written an amazing book. It's one of those that I would class as unputdownable. There simply aren't enough pages as far as I am concerned. The mix of violence and love is brilliant making the story more than two dimensional. There is a lot going on in this book and each character's back story is well written and well developed. The book is cleverly thoughout.

      I like that there is a distinct and clear difference between the love and the crime in this book. Rose is equally adept at writing crime scenes as well as love scenes and she is develops very graphic explanations leading to clear pictures in your mind.

      Simply, I love this book. I love that there is a mix of terror and suspence as well as love and you come to see that there is more than two sides to a story.


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      16.09.2009 12:17
      Very helpful




      I've recently discovered Karen Rose and have a friend who is lending me some of her books. The most recent one I borrowed was I'm Watching You.

      Kristen Mayhew is a prosecutor who cares about her clients but someone has become obsessed with her. In fact a murderer has become obsessed with Kristen and is killing some of the criminals who she couldn't secure a conviction against and leaving photos of the bodies for Kristen to find along with letters that have a very personal P.S at the bottom, proof the killer is keeping a close eye on her.

      Abe Reagan is assigned the case along with his partner Mia and as the body count keeps rising Abe develops feelings for Kristen Mayhew too.

      Anyone who has read my previous reviews about the other Karen Rose books I've read will know I'm not a fan of the lead characters getting it on in such a predictable way, someone commented previously that Karen Rose is a romance thriller writer but as far as I can find out she's not, she's just an author of thrillers. But as long as you expect this to happen in every book she writes you can overlook that aspect.

      On this occasion Rose actually did well with the relationship between Abe and Kristen, although cliched and nothing fresh or original it happened more naturally than some of the others she's written into storylines. It actually complimented the main storyline so it didn't bother me this time that yet again the lead characters fell for each other.

      As for the main storyline, I liked the concept and it all slotted together neatly at the end. There was no contrived feeling about it and the investigation went pretty much how an investigation would. Unfortunately Karen Rose seems to have this knack of giving away "who dunnit" to me! There's a particular way she writes the character who's guilty of the crime and I usually know who it is as soon as they're introduced. This book was no exception and I knew who was committing the murders right from early on but it didn't spoil it for me because I didn't know why and wanted to watch it unravel.

      As is normal for Karen Rose she has alot of characters in the book and on the odd occasion I find I have to flick back to check who someone is. I think the characters had quite a real feel in this book though, especially the main characters who all had lots of personality. Naturally everyone had a murky past and secrets started to come out at a rate of knots but that's typical for a thriller.

      Overall I really enjoyed this book, even though I knew who the murderer was I still found I wanted to know why and read how they figured it out. The characters are pretty strong in this one and if you can forgive the romance between the leads it's a very good story. It won't have you gasping with shock but it does provide plenty of action, secrets and mystery.

      Currently available from Amazon for £5.49 new or Amazon Marketplace for £1.79 used. I recommend this to thriller fans.


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      07.07.2008 08:27
      Very helpful



      Does the job, but others do it better

      This is the first book I have read by Karen Rose, and to be honest if it had not been a gift I would never have even picked it up. With a tag line on the cover that reads "I spy with my little eye something ending in ... DEATH" I have to admit I would have put this book straight down again at the book shop. Then there are the ingredients to the plot:
      * Handsome cop (with a past) - check
      * Cop has a feisty female partner (with a past) - check
      * Pretty lawyer (with a past) who cares about the victims she represents- check
      * Unknown vigilante (erm, with a past)- check
      * Fight against time to stop body count piling up - check
      * Latino gang - check
      * Mafia don - check

      Unoriginal? Definitely. Reading the first chapter I kept thinking to myself 'I've already read this book'. Now, everything isn't all bad. Karen Rose builds up a decent (if long) story with enough pace to keep you interested in the book. This pace increases as you get to know all the characters. There are not exactly twists and turns, and the plot is straight-forward, but the book is good enough to keep you turning those pages to find out what happens next.

      Like a review of another of Karen Rose's books states, there is a strong romantic sub plot to her work, and I'm Watching You is no exception. A lot of the content is dedicated to the relationships building between the characters as they get to know each other. To be honest though, I didn't find myself caring too much how these subplots turned out. I think this was because, although I cared whether they survived the story, I did not connect with the characters as much as I normally would. Also, I found the 'will they, won't they' aspect a little tedious and predictable.

      I have read a few James Patterson books, and this is in the same sort of mould. It is a thriller with added romantic subplot. Would I recommend it? Well, I did enjoy reading it- and it is perfect for when you want to be carried along by a story and not have to think too much. My rating is based on its ability to be a bit of easy-to-read escapism, perfect for just picking up and diving back into the story. If it is purely a thrilling page turner you are after there are plenty of others that do it better though, and I would never buy this book- maybe pick it up at a second hand shop (and take it back afterwards).


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      19.06.2008 22:53
      Very helpful



      Karen Rose - I'm watching you.

      I'm Watching You. Karen Rose.

      I do like reading and generally have at least two books on the go. The first will always be a 'learning book', maybe related to therapy, or even saxophones, it does not matter as long as I glean something. The second is always fiction, and I love horror, thrillers and crime quite a lot. So not having heard of this author, when I saw the book in Waterstones I thought I would give it a go.

      This is not a quick read. At 660 pages it aint gonna be over in a day or two, and that's okay because it takes a little digesting. It isn't exactly slow, but I have found I like to read 30 or 40 pages then stop.

      The plot is consistent and not that complex. It is essentially the story of the police trying to catch a vigilante killer. That being said, the plot is almost secondary to the secondary plots if that makes sense.

      We have the vigilante:
      We get to understand his thoughts bit by bit throughout the book as he kills people that he thinks deserve to die. How he chooses who dies is quite a cool twist which I won't spoil. He kills people who have either gotten away from justice, or who have helped them get away from justice. That he kills them is one thing, how the vigilante kills them is entirely another, again, I'm not going to spoil it for you. When he kills, contact is always made with the Prosecutor from the office of the District Attorney (Kristen Mayhew), usually by letter and he signs off "Your humble servant" He is watching Kristen throughout the book and knows a lot about her, hence the title. There are reasons for what he does and we get to find out as we go along....as well as more about the identity of the vigilante.........enough of a teaser!

      The Prosecutor.
      Kristen Mayhew. Capable, intelligent, successful, respected, attractive and somewhat controlled. We get the image of the consummate professional, all business suits and pinned hair, dedicated to her job, full of facts and figures, and a little guarded about anything outside of work. Outside of work consists of an apartment where she lives alone, she is constantly decorating. There are 'secrets' that Kristen hides, a past that we get to see slowly revealed throughout the course of the book. We also get to see the symbiotic nature of the relationship that the killer has with her. When I say symbiotic, I am probably a little too analytical, as she does not rely on the killer as much as the killer depends on her for their actions, though clearly her 'status' and changing environment throughout the story do depend very much on the killer's actions. We also get to see her growing relationship, at first professional and then personal with the cop investigating the case, Abe Reagan.

      The Cop.
      Abe Reagan is a career cop, from a line of career cops. He has lost a wife who was killed, he throws himself into his job. What starts as an investigation becomes more of a mission, to protect Kristen, to find the killer and to stop open gang reprisals on whoever they think the vigilante is, and who may have some knowledge of who the vigilante is. As the vigilante kills prominent criminals as part of his 'work', the criminal underworld starts to panic and try to protect themselves, in case they are next. This is a nice little counter plot, the crim's becoming vigilante on the vigilante!

      As Reagan becomes more involved with Kristen we see a relationship build, which, although necessary to some extent to the plot, gets a bit distracting and 'big' at times for me. There is almost a whole chapter's worth devoted to the sexual tension and 'consummation' of their relationship, I have no idea why.

      What is more interesting to me is the 'leads' that the police have on the vigilante, how he stays a step ahead, and the unravelling of his thoughts and motives throughout. Even better is the way the author gets us to think who the vigilante might be.

      I like a book to be quite visual and descriptive; this is not big on that. Though it is what I would call cerebrally descriptive, what I mean by this is that it makes the reader think, not too hard granted, but does make the reader put the pieces together and jump ahead a few steps whilst reading.

      Where it is very good is spinning out the tale over a timeframe that makes sense, this story tells a story that evolves, so naturally the time we need to take that in evolves too.

      It is also good with lots of mini stories; Reagan's family, a news reporter that becomes prominent at different times, Mayhews' past. All these things seem quite separate yet quite essential. I do like the way the author has joined all these elements up. I also like the atmospheric nature of the book. It is not frightening, but quite matter of fact about everything as if the reader will just 'get it' and to some extent we do.

      I some ways I find the writing style quite lazy and immature, yet it seems to be okay for it, there is nothing too complex, but not too basic either. The ending has some twists, of course and does pick up pace quite well.

      This would be a great book to take on holiday, to read by the pool or in the shade on a lazy afternoon. After reading this I will have a look at other Karen rose's offerings and do hope that she is not too formulaic as for instance Tess Gerritson or Karin Slaughter have become.


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