Author: Clare Mackintosh
Publication: Berkley (February 21, 2017)
Description: The author of the New York Times bestseller I Let You Go propels readers into a dark and claustrophobic thriller, in which a normal, everyday woman becomes trapped in the confines of her normal, everyday world...
Every morning and evening, Zoe Walker takes the same route to the train station, waits at a certain place on the platform, finds her favorite spot in the car, never suspecting that someone is watching her...
It all starts with a classified ad. During her commute home one night, while glancing through her local paper, Zoe sees her own face staring back at her; a grainy photo along with a phone number and a listing for a website called FindTheOne.com.
Other women begin appearing in the same ad, a different one every day, and Zoe realizes they’ve become the victims of increasingly violent crimes—including murder. With the help of a determined cop, she uncovers the ad’s twisted purpose...A discovery that turns her paranoia into full-blown panic. Zoe is sure that someone close to her has set her up as the next target.
And now that man on the train—the one smiling at Zoe from across the car—could be more than just a friendly stranger. He could be someone who has deliberately chosen her and is ready to make his next move…
My Thoughts: This is a story told from multiple viewpoints. The first is Zoe Walker who is an ordinary woman in her late thirties. She is divorced with a new live-in boyfriend. She also has two grown children both living at home. Justin is her oldest and works in a coffee shop for a neighbor. Katie is the youngest who wants to be an actress despite Zoe's encouragement to take a secretarial course so that she has a back-up plan.
Zoe commutes each day from suburban London to central London. She takes the same busses and trains. She even sits or stands in the same places in the cars. One day she happens to glance at an add in the personals of the newspaper and sees her picture over a website URL and a phone number. At first her family tries to convince her that it is only someone who looks like her. Each day there is a new picture of a new woman.
The second viewpoint character is Kelly Swift. She is a law enforcement officer who has just come back from a long leave resulting from her assault of a prisoner. She is a great investigator but currently in disgrace. She is obsessed with the rape of her twin sister on her college campus ten years earlier even though that sister has moved on and forged a new happy life. Any sort of rape case triggers her anger. She is currently investigating a case where a woman fell asleep on her commuter train and someone stole her keys.
When Zoe sees someone she recognizes in an ad she calls the police and ends up with Kelly. Kelly is skeptical that the ads have anything to do with the crime until a young woman who is pictured in one of the ads is found murdered.
Kelly wedges her way into the task force that is investigating the murder and soon they are investigating the ads and the connections to crimes. After some detective work, the ad leads to a website that sells information about women to anyone who wants to buy a membership. It tracks details about each woman including her daily commute and where she can be found. Investigating who owns the site and who is downloading the information quickly gets involved in all sorts of complex ways of hiding data and money.
Meanwhile, Eve still feels that she is being watched and followed and becomes suspicious of everyone in her life from her live-in to her daughter's new boyfriend. The tension keeps ramping up in this one until it comes to a stunning conclusion.
Interspersed between sections from Zoe's viewpoint which is getting more tense as each day passes and Kelly's viewpoint about the frustrations of the investigation, we have the viewpoint of the person responsible for and profiting from the website. This person is perhaps the creepiest part of the whole story as they victimize women for profit.
I enjoyed this story very much and kept reading it late into the night since I couldn't sleep until I found out who the criminal was.
FindTheOne.com cuts through all that rubbish; the pretense that anyone cares if you like opera or walks in the park. It means men can take their time. They can follow you for a while, engage you in conversation; see if you're interesting enough to take for dinner, instead of wasting their time on a garrulous airhead. It means men can get up close and personal. Smell your perfume; your breath; your skin. Feel a spark. Act on it.I got this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.