The Memory Watcher – A Psychological Thriller
Okay yeah… this one was pretty fantastic and fun, in a “psycho with secrets” way. LOL!! What I loved is that it kept me glued, and it kept me guessing the whole way through.
I started it last night as my bedtime read (but I fell asleep… ’cause I can’t seem to stay up late anymore. *sigh*). But I digress. It was absorbing from the start, and I picked it right back up this morning and read it straight through. Almost 450 pages and I devoured this book in essentially, one day. THAT is how much I was into it. To give you an idea, I’d say it has a… “Bad Mommy” mixed with “You” and maybe even a bit of an “Evelyn, After” feel. The writing, the internal dialogue, the crazy reasoning… the reveals. They’re all completely different stories with exciting twists, but that FEEL, ya know? This is one of those.
Kat: This sounds so good I one clicked…
Maryse: RIGHT UP MY ALLEY, Kat!!!!!! Thank you!!! …I VERY lightly skimmed the reviews and they sound amazing… mostly all awesome ones and I’m getting an inkling of a CRAZY twist ending. YAY!!!!! MINE!!!!
Amy: The Memory Watcher has a crazy-twist ending?? MINE!!!
Val: I am reading it right now. I am 30% in and so fascinated. I am loving it!
Amy: I just finished this one! It was really good.
Val: I just finished. I definitely recommend it! Can’t wait to see what you think
It ticked each and every one of my psych-thriller needs. Great writing, enough character and story development to have me feeling it every step of the way (panicking when they were, thrilled with things I shouldn’t be thrilled with, nervous and dreading certain situations, incensed with others). In fact, as everything was coming to a head, my stomach was in knots, and my mood was shot (but in a good way). I was upset. I was nervous. I was disturbed. I felt like everything was wrong… everything was crashing down around me. And then I realized, I was feeling what the characters were feeling.
Characters? Yes. I was very connected to TWO of them. Both were equally relevant to the story and real, to me.
It had BOTH of their POVs which I normally don’t prefer (at least not in love stories). But the thoughts and daily existence of both the female leads (the villain and the victim – equally important characters) as their lives entwined and were forever altered, kept me distressed the whole way. And I LOVED it!
So what’s it about?
A picture-perfect family (literally, since she – “Daphne” – is an up and coming “perfect mommy” Instagram… er I mean “Instaface” star) and a female stalker (Autumn) absolutely obsessed and wanting to integrate herself into their lives any way she can.
The stalker? Turns out she is obsessed with the family that adopted her baby (“Grace”) years ago, and when she discovered their social media profile online, she lives vicariously through them.
God, this is addictive. It’s like someone dropped an all-access backstage pass to Grace’s life right into my lap.
Daily. ALL DAY. Watched her little girl grow up for years, and even found a way to be as close to them, in actual proximity, as possible. She almost seemed… satisfied with that. Like her life was enough, as long as she’s able to watch them virtually “living” theirs. She worships this family, especially her daughter’s adoptive mother.
She’s beautiful in person, which tells me what I’ve suspected all along: that her Instaface persona is authentic, that Daphne McMullen is exactly who she says she is.
It makes my heart warm, watching her in action with her youngest. Grace is truly lucky to be able to call Daphne her mother. I chose well.
And she’s happy, as long as she can keep up with her daughter’s own happiness, in this way.
Seeing Grace so happy, so nurtured, so loved, and watching her live the kind of childhood I only ever dreamed of is all I could ask for in this life.
I’ll find a way back to her, to my baby.
A mother always does.
Until one day, the profile is deactivated, and there are no more updates.
It makes no sense.
Daphne McMullen has thousands of followers.
She lives for this stuff.
She has so many followers, companies send her free stuff.
She does paid ads for crying out loud.
Why would she just shut it down?
She posted a picture of the kids getting ready for school this morning . . . how could it all just . . . go away like that? With no warning?
My eyes burn, brimming until everything around me is a hazy blur. There’s a cry in the back of my throat, readying itself, threatening to burst to the surface if I don’t do something immediately. My knees give out, and I grip the edge of my dresser to steady myself because I can hardly summon the strength to stand.
Her connection to her daughter’s world, to her daughter’s perfect mother… is gone. And she goes into a tailspin. Her “virtual” connection to them extinguished, she now focuses on a physical, ACTUAL connection to them in real life, to keep herself centered. She decides she has to become the the kind of perfect person that they’d associate with… and trust, for them to accept her INTO their lives. She’s a chameleon. An almost flawless imposter.
It’s exhausting being me. Living with my thoughts. Hiding my vulnerabilities behind someone else’s clothing.
Yet she discovers she’s not the only one with vulnerabilities… hiding. That’s when she realizes that what “perfect people” portray on the internet, might not actually be their truth.
It’s a lie. But then again, so is every other facet of my life.
And so the freaky-fun begins!!
And if there’s anything I’ve learned in my thirty-six years, it’s that desperate people are incapable of making good decisions.
Twists and turns along the way, plus a gently jaw-dropping ending that boggled my mind. I say “gently jaw dropping” because it wasn’t the most crazy-clever ending I’ve ever read, and yet, it was plenty out there to make my eyes bug out and my eyebrows raise in interest! It had me backtracking through what I had just read and thinking and gasping when it all came together.
This book has all sorts of “parts” (all seamless, mind you… a perfectly flowing story) but you’ll have eye-opening moments throughout (which keeps it stimulating) and it all comes full circle in the end. And I appreciated the very relevant (and concerning) social commentary, throughout.
4.5 stars <— especially for keeping me fully engaged and entertained!!