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I'm watching over you...
The Creeper - Tania Carver
Member Name: jeffjen
The Creeper - Tania Carver
Date: 09/01/12, updated on 09/01/12 (100 review reads)
Advantages: Good story, well written, plenty of suspense
Disadvantages: A couple of things didn't make sense at first, due to there being a previous novel.
When Suzanne wakes she is relieved to find she was dreaming and glad to put her nightmare behind her, she goes to open the curtains. It is then that she notices a polaroid photograph stuck to the window of her lying asleep in bed, taken during the night. Underneath the photograph are written the words: 'I'm watching over you'.
For Suzanne, the nightmare isn't over. In fact, it's just beginning...
Detective Inspector Phil Brennan of the Major Incident Squad is on the hunt for a killer. A killer who stalks young women and then ultimately tortures and murders them. As Phil and his team investigate, they soon find themselves caught up into the twisted psychology of the killer, and Phil realises that it isn't just a serial killer he's hunting, but someone infinitely more calculating and also a lot closer to home than he could have imagined.
The story opens with an introduction to Suzanne. Aged 26 and working as a speech therapist at the General Hospital in Colchester, Suzanne lives alone in a flat and since breaking up with her boyfriend a few months back she just wants to enjoy herself.
Lately however, Suzanne has noticed little things which have puzzled her when at home in her flat, such as ornaments slightly out of place, a damp towel in the bathroom that should have been dry, or a cup on the draining board she could have sworn she had put away in the cupboard. They weren't things that were causing her to be worried, but then she has what she believes at first to be a nightmare, until she opens the curtains and sees the photograph stuck on the window.
Suzanne calls in the police, but as they delve a little into Suzanne's past they find that this isn't the first time she has complained of a stalker.
The Creeper is the kind of book which draws the reader in from the first page with a tense opening chapter. After this the story tends to alternate for a little while between Suzanne, Detective Phil Brennan and his team who are dealing with the finding of a body of a young girl and also a sadistic killer.
Because of the doubts cast over Suzanne's claims after finding out some past history, I found this added to the intrigue of the story as whilst there is undoubtedly a killer at large, I did not feel that Suzanne was next on his list as you would initially believe, as you find you are doubting her credibility as the past is slowly revealed. Indeed it was little twists like this one which made reading The Creeper an enjoyable one, as there are a few things which don't quite add up and thus prevents the reader from coming to conclusions and working out exactly what is going on and who is responsible.
Whilst I did begin having suspicions and some of them turned out to be correct, I couldn't quite figure out the reasons why until near the end when it all began to come together and I thoroughly enjoyed the suspense of it all.
The character development is good, particularly that of the killer and also Detective Inspector Phil Brennan who I did feel sympathy for, as his team were more than a little inept at times, making his frustration understandable. For example, there's a wrong conclusion regarding a victim's identity and sexual deviance and lies amongst some of the police officers and I wondered if many would survive the story with their jobs intact! I do think that the author introduced a good blend of characters however, there are some you will like, some you won't and some who will intrigue you.
What I didn't quite understand however, were the small parts of the story featuring Phil's wife Marina and his baby daughter. Marina disappears, leaving him a note and taking their daughter with her which causes a lot of heartache for Phil and I found it somewhat unbelievable at times how he carried on working when he had no idea where his wife and child were and Marina wasn't answering her mobile when he tried to ring. The author describes his despair very well, so well in fact I did think that there was no way he would be able to go into work and give the case his full attention, yet somehow he does?
There were also a couple of things which didn't quite make sense regarding his wife and whilst it became clearer later in the book what had happened, I have also since found out that Phil and his wife feature in the author's previous book, 'The Surrogate' and their relationship here 'follows on' from that book.
So whilst everything is explained eventually and it did not detract from the main story or cause any real confusion, I feel that the author could maybe have explained things and gave a little background information earlier in the book just to make things clearer.
I enjoyed the writing style and the way the suspense builds throughout and by halfway through I found I couldn't put the book down and had to keep reading until the end, which has quite an action-packed climax as everything begins to make sense and fall into place.
At 468 pages, The Creeper is an average length thriller and one I am happy to recommend. I have also since purchased the previous novel I mentioned, 'The Surrogate' and whilst it isn't necessary to read them in order I do feel that this is something worth pointing out that the police team here are first introduced in the previous novel.
Summary: An addictive thriller which slowly builds then had me racing to get to the end.