With an abundance of lies and secrets, envy and mistrust, Watch Out For Her leaves readers scrambling to figure out who to believe, who to trust and who to watch out for. This story unfolds through the voices of two highly suspicious narrators in a past/present timeline that brings readers up to speed in what happened in the past that led to the volatile situation characters find themselves in today.
Then: Sarah and Daniel Goldman hire twenty-two-year-old Holly Monroe as a nanny to their six year old son Jacob, allowing Sarah time to pursue her photography. Little do they know this will turn out to be a fatal mistake. On the surface, the Goldman’s appear to be a normal, happy upper middle-class family living the dream. Holly envies and desires the Goldman’s easy family atmosphere and sets about manipulating her way into the family as a trusted member. Everything is beautiful—until it isn’t. After witnessing a shocking event, Sarah realizes all is not as it seems and thus asks her husband to move their family to escape the obsessive babysitter. In a desperate, last ditch effort to protect his own secrets, Daniel agrees to move clear across the country.
Now: after the family moves, the new beginning the Goldman’s so desperately hoped for eludes them. Sarah finds hidden cameras in their new house the first day, a prowler is seen in the yard that night and their new neighbors are a bit strange. Cryptic text messages, moved security cameras, and not so subtle innuendos have Sarah in a panic, and Daniel questioning her sanity. The story that ensues is a roller coaster of emotional turmoil, obsession, and disbelief. Is Holly seeking revenge for being left behind by a family she staked her claim on? Or is Sarah delusional?
Watch Out For Her is a tense, character driven thriller with an overabundance of family drama. The steady pace gains momentum as the story plays out and secrets begin spilling over, leaving this dysfunctional family desperate for answers even as each member continues guarding their own secrets. Readers have the huge advantage of being in both Holly and Sarah’s head space as they take turns narrating the story of what has and is transpiring from their own unique viewpoint. Unfortunately, neither of these two characters know what the other is thinking. While I found the plot line to be a bit predictable at times, the execution of the story is excellent and my need to know kept me burning through pages. I was able to deduce the conclusion and the who/what/why before the big reveal, but it didn’t diminish my enjoyment or the rising tension. Watch Out For Her is an anxiety riddled ride with a menacing undertone that keeps readers guessing. Bailey has peeled back the layers of a broken family, revealing the depth of devastation brought about by distrust, too many secrets and obsession. Fans of mystery and suspense will enjoy this book, especially if they love character driven thrillers.
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