Hello readers! For this week’s post, I will be reviewing the crime thriller I Will Make You Pay by Teressa Driscoll, but before we leap straight into my thoughts on the book, let’s read that trusty blurb shall we?
Every Wednesday, like clockwork, the terror returns.
It seems like an ordinary Wednesday, until the phone rings. A mysterious caller with a chilling threat. Journalist Alice Henderson hangs up, ready to dismiss it as a hoax against the newspaper. But the next Wednesday, the stalker makes another move—and it becomes clear that this is all about Alice.
Someone wants her to suffer, but for what? Her articles have made her a popular local champion—could it be her past rather than her work that’s put her life in danger? Alice is determined not to give in to fear, but with the police investigation at a dead end, her boyfriend insists on hiring private investigator Matthew Hill.
With every passing Wednesday the warnings escalate, until it’s not only Alice but also her family in the stalker’s sights. As her tormentor closes in, can Alice uncover what she’s being punished for before the terrifying threats become an unthinkable reality?
I am a huge fan of crime fiction and I am always particularly intrigued with stalker stories. Horror films and books scare us by often wandering into the realms of the unrealistic and surreal but a stalker is something very real. Stalkers exist, they terrorise and they have even killed. It is a threat grounded firmly in reality and therefore one which will incite and rouse a particularly deep fear within the reader. Driscoll’s stalker is particularly cruel, often taunting the protagonist, for example having someone throw a freezing cold liquid in her face so she momentarily believes it is acid. A simple, seemingly innocuous act, it is after all just water, but in the context of her harassment and her intensifying fear this moment causes her great distress and trauma.
The protagonist Alice is for the most part believable and empathetic. We understand through her narration the sheer panic and paranoia that can come as a result of someone targeting a person in such a way. Suddenly every site she visits is a place she could potentially be attacked, every face in the crowd is possibly her stalker, every phone call another taunt or jibe. She is torn between protecting herself and withdrawing from the potential dangers of the world, and having a normal life, in short refusing to let the stalker win and in doing so she often puts herself in further danger. There were moments were her refusal to be completely honest with Police and to take their advice irritated me slightly, but I can understand why she would not want the stalker to succeed at ruining her life.
The book has enough action interspersed throughout to keep it fast paced and interesting, and features several twists and turns and the all expected red herrings. Although I guessed the bad guy successfully (no spoilers here), I could not grasp the motive until towards the very end despite the fact that Driscoll provided all the necessary information to the reader for them to work it out. I really admire any author who can keep a reader scratching their end until the end. The fact that I guessed the identity of the stalker is not necessarily a poor reflection on the author, as I read and watch so much crime fiction and indeed, even write it myself, that I am rarely surprised but that is why the concealment of the motivation of this man alluding me was particularly exciting.
Over-all, this is a great read and one I would recommend for any fans of crime fiction. I would give it a firm 4 stars out of 5.
* Note: I was sent this book on behalf of the author and Amazon Publishing. My review is honest opinion of the book.