I’m delighted to be sharing my review today of Watch Over You by M.J. Ford.
The hunt is on. And this time, it’s personal…
When DS Josie Masters is called out to a house in North Oxford to investigate a serious incident, things take a personal turn. The body is Harry’s – her friend and former colleague.
Josie thought Harry lived alone, but evidence suggests he’d had a lodger – a young woman who has fled the scene.
And as more killings stun Oxford, the police discover the picture is more complicated than it appeared.
The young woman is on the run, and someone is following her – leaving a stack of bodies in their wake…
This is the third book following DS Josie Masters and it’s a series that I’m thoroughly enjoying. I definitely think you’d get more from Watch Over You if you read books 1 and 2 first as Jo is a character who has been through a great deal of trauma and this has shaped the woman we meet here. Hold My Hand especially sets up the backstory perfectly and is a brilliant read so make sure you add it to your wish list too.
Jo is struggling to balance her personal and working life as all working single mums do. The guilt is spoiling her love of both parts of her life and something has to give but what? But when a case comes along that has a personal connection for Jo she knows she has to devote herself to it. Called to the Murder scene of a good friend of hers, Jo is determined to find the culprit who did this. Her friend Harry lived alone but there is evidence of a young girl having been there. Who is this girl and what is her connection to Harry? A complex and twisty investigation follows that puts everyone close to the girl in danger and a rising body count leads Jo to make some shocking choices…
Watch Over You had a slow start but the last third really increased the pace so that the tension became almost unbearable. Once all the threads started to come together, it became a race against time to find the perpetrator of the trail of devastation and prevent more deaths from happening. The plot was complex but clever with flashbacks for clarity. There was a very sad backstory at one point that was the starting point for most of the crimes that took place and it was often hard for me to feel anger at the perpetrator. I just felt such an injustice that some people are pushed down a path that shouldn’t be theirs but due to circumstances beyond their control it’s the one they are set off on. That’s not to say that there aren’t branches off that path to change the direction of their journey but it’s never that easy is it?
Watch Over You was a gripping read once I got into it. Jo is a fascinating character and I find her more interesting and relatable the further we travel into this series. And although I also love the setting of Oxford and the surrounding areas, it really is Josie Masters that keeps me coming back to this author. Definitely a series you need to check out crime fans!
MJ Ford lives in the north of England with his wife, two young children and two dogs. He studied English and Classics at Oxford University before working in publishing for many years. He writes for both adults and children.