Reviewer: Melanie King
Night Watcher is Scottish writer Chris Longmuir’s second published crime novel. Her first, Dead Wood, won the prestigious 2009 Dundee International Book Prize.
Chris makes her home near Dundee and uses the city and crime to create her novels. After a conversation with an agent who told her it was taking him four times longer to sell a manuscript to a publishing house, she took the plunge and decided to self publish this novel as an e-book with Amazon for their Kindle reader. You can buy the novel for yourself here.
While she has written other novels, as yet they remain unpublished.
Julie Chalmers leaves her home in Edinburgh, Scotland after a visit from the police telling her that her estranged husband was found dead in Dundee. Knowing that he left her for another woman, Julie pulls up roots, reverts to her maiden name Forbes, and moves to the city where he died planning on exacting her revenge on the ‘other woman’.
Little does Julie know that the Night Watcher has already arrived in Dundee and his Chosen One is the ‘other woman’.
Nicole’s reputation as a man-eater is well known within the store where she’s slept her way to the top and is currently having an affair with Ken, one of the senior managers.
Julie rents the flat above the one her husband had in the building where he died and puts her plans of revenge on Nicole into action.
Over the years, Nicole has amassed a number of enemies – Harry, the security guard at the store who she belittles at every opportunity, Ken – her lover who she dumps when it becomes clear he’s not about to leave his wife, Scott – her husband who has his own bit on the side who reminds him of Nicole when she was young, before she lost her innocence.
When Nicole thinks she’s being stalked and gifts mysteriously arrive for her – dead birds and animals – and just as mysteriously disappear, her husband doesn’t take her seriously. He tries to convince her that it’s her imagination. But does he have an ulterior motive?
After Scott has left for Paris on business, Nicole finds his passport and knows he can’t travel abroad without it.
When the police are called in, the head detective on the case doesn’t take Nicole’s accounts of her recent happenings seriously. Only when she ends up dead does he realize he’s made a grave error.
Things get even more complicated when he falls for Julie and they embark on a relationship only to discover that Julie – the estranged wife of the apparent suicide in the building she’s moved into – becomes the next Chosen One.
Even when you think you have it all figured out, Chris throws in one final twist to throw you off. Her descriptive narrative draws you in making the sights, sounds and smells come to life. The dialogue is natural and makes the characters seem like normal folk you would meet on the street or in your local. For anyone who enjoys crime fiction, I highly recommend this as an addition to your must read list.
You can visit Chris’s website at www.chrislongmuir.co.uk
This post was submitted by Melanie King.