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Because I'm Watching: A Novel
     

Because I'm Watching: A Novel

4.9 48
by Christina Dodd
 

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She had survived, but she is still held captive…
Of her memories, her loneliness, her delusions. But are they truly delusions?

The survivor of a college dorm massacre, a woman accused of her lover’s murder, Madeline Hewitson is haunted by ghosts and tormented by a killer only she can see. At night, she works, writing and drawing

Overview

She had survived, but she is still held captive…
Of her memories, her loneliness, her delusions. But are they truly delusions?

The survivor of a college dorm massacre, a woman accused of her lover’s murder, Madeline Hewitson is haunted by ghosts and tormented by a killer only she can see. At night, she works, writing and drawing the monster that slithers through her imagination, and living in fear of those moments when the doors of her mind unhinge and her nightmare lives in the daylight.

A seasoned military veteran, Jacob Denisov lives alone in his small, darkened home, sleepless, starving, and angry. Every day he lives with the guilt that comes from his own failures and the carnage that followed. When neighbor Madeline Hewitson drives her car through the front wall of his house, she breaks his house—and his life—wide open. Forced to view the world outside, Jacob watches Maddie, recognizes a kindred spirit and wonders what she fears more than herself. Has someone caught her in a twisted labyrinth of revenge and compassion, guilt and redemption, murder and madness?

When Maddie's imaginary killer takes form, she fights back. But will she be strong enough to triumph, or is the killer she fears no more than a shadow, an illusion…that watches?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
06/13/2016
In Dodd’s intriguing third Virtue Falls contemporary romance (after Obsession Falls), traumatized and disreputable Madeline Hewitson is the author of bestselling thrillers—but they are published under a pseudonym, and her brother, Andrew, is the public face of the author. Maddie’s fear-driven inspiration began when she was the sole survivor of a mass killing while she was a college student; later, two years before her move to Virtue Falls, Wash., she was cleared of suspicion in the unsolved murder of her lover, Easton. Text messages interspersed throughout the narrative reveal that someone is committed to keeping her “afraid, insane, malleable.” Military veteran Jacob Denisov endeavors to make his home across the street from Maddie’s into a refuge from the torment of events he and his team suffered in North Korea; when an exhausted Maddie accidentally drives into his front wall, she smashes through his literal and emotional barricades. An engaging cast of Virtue Falls locals adds depth and multiple subplots as the mysteries around Maddie reach unsatisfactory resolutions. Agent: Mel Berger, William Morris Endeavor. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

Praise for Because I'm Watching

Two emotionally damaged characters find hope, self-forgiveness, and love in this exquisitely crafted, modern version of Gaslight that hooks readers and keeps them mesmerized until the end. A chilling and gripping tale, beautifully done.” –Library Journal (starred review)

"Romantic suspense favorite Dodd heads back to Virtue Falls for another smart, dramatic mystery that will keep readers flipping pages until the very end, with unexpected twists, psychological tension, and emotional depth. The traumatic back stories of the main characters set up a trail of believable misdirection and heart-stirring romance, while secondary characters add dimension and continuity to the vivid and entertaining world of this compelling series. Another Virtue Falls winner." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Scary, sexy, and smartly written, Because I’m Watching is Dodd at the top of her game.” —Booklist (starred review)

"Readers are in for a real treat...This incredible author offers up many twists and turns which will sound something like an Alfred Hitchcock narrative, as the two main characters are caught up in a world of oddities, creepiness and revenge. This is the third book in the Virtue Falls series and, if possible, the best yet!" —Suspense Magazine

"Intriguing...An engaging cast of Virtue Falls locals adds depth and multiple subplots." —Publishers Weekly

“From the opening page, Dodd reels readers into this eerie and darkly suspenseful tale that will remain with them long after they finish the book! A creepy classic.” —Romantic Times (4.5 star Top Pick review)

Praise for Obsession Falls

“Dodd delivers another white-knuckle tale of romantic suspense...The plot’s twists and turns are handled with a positively Hitchcockian touch, while the brilliantly etched characters, polished writing, and unexpected flashes of sharp humor are pure Dodd.” —Booklist (starred review)

“This one is impossible to put down. A remarkable, mesmerizing series.” —Library Journal (starred review)

Taut and enthralling, with romantic and supernatural embellishments that intensify the drama. —Kirkus Reviews

This gut-wrenching tale of determination and survival is amazing to read...This is one you won't soon forget! —Romantic Times (Top Pick)

“Christina Dodd mixes a chilling cocktail of suspense and romance…With enthralling characters and an intriguing and imaginative premise, this is a spooky, nerve-stretching read that is sure to please Dodd’s many fans.” –BookPage

Praise for Virtue Falls

A winning read. Intense and suspenseful, with touches of romance, humor and mysticism. —Kirkus Reviews

Megatalent Dodd returns with a truly stunning work of mystery, danger and romance. —Romantic Times (Top Pick)

“Dodd slowly ratchets up the suspense level to the breaking point, while introducing readers to the diverse and quirky characters…a nail-biting book.” —Booklist

“The characters are flawed, three-dimensional, and compelling.” –Library Journal

Library Journal
04/01/2016
Madeline Hewitson isn't called Mad Maddie for nothing. She's survived a college dorm massacre and the murder of a lover (of which she has been accused), and she claims to be stalked by a killer only she can see. She also manages to drive her car straight through the front wall of the shuttered house where veteran Jacob Denisov sits, contemplating suicide. Jacob identifies with Maddie's craziness—and begins to suspect that she's trapped in someone's sticky web.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250028440
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
09/06/2016
Series:
Virtue Falls Series , #3
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
6,537
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author CHRISTINA DODD builds worlds filled with suspense and adventure, and creates the most distinctive characters in fiction today. Her fifty-two novels have been translated into twenty-five languages, featured by the Doubleday Book Club, recorded on Books on Tape for the Blind, and been called the year's best by Library Journal. Dodd herself has been a clue in the Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle. With more than fifteen million copies of her books in print, her legions of fans always know that when they pick up a Christina Dodd book, they’ve found, as Karen Robards writes, “an absolute thrill ride of a book!”

Christina Dodd is the author of over twenty-three romances that made regular appearances on the bestseller lists, including The New York Times. She has won numerous awards: Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart and RITA Awards.

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Because I'm Watching 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
mom2o2272 12 months ago
Have just finished this book. Another excellent read. I Love the way Christina keeps me wanting and expecting more from her characters. Her next book, The Woman Who Couldn't Scream, is already on my to read list. Thank you for peaking my interest in mystery novels with another avenue for me to explore.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I first got the book I wasn't sure if I would like it or not. Boy was I wrong!!! From the time I finished the first two chapters I was hooked. The characters of Jacob and Maddie are kindred lost souls who meet by an accident only Ms Dodd could dream up. These flawed souls take you on a twisting mental read, that you can't put down. Can't wait to see what happens next in Virtual Falls.
AshleyStevenson More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book exchange for an honest review. Their were a lot of twists and turns in this story couldn't imagine a more hooked supsense read.
JMuscari More than 1 year ago
Dodd again creates quirkly, endearing characters filled with flaws, who you fall in love with from the first page. I found myself rooting for the main characters, Maddie and Jacob, to overcome their pasts to find hope and love, and the community of Virtue Falls as they come together to unearth the evil that lurks in the background. Ironically, Maddie and Jacob have experienced similar traumas, but have been coping differently--one in the dark and one in the light. Like her last book, I was hooked all the way through and had a very hard time putting this book down to go to work... Looking forward to the next entry in the series!
A-bibliophile More than 1 year ago
Until I read this book, Obsession Falls was my favorite. Now that honor goes to Because I'm Watching. This story has courage and heart, along with elements of fear, humor, tragedy, love, mystery, suspense, murder and more. Mad Maddie and Jacob are strong though they think they are not. Each of their stories are different yet have the same underlying theme: facing fear, enduring mental and physical challenges that many never have to and coming out triumphant, though they probably wouldn't agree. Both are survivors: one of a mass killing and murder of her fiance' and the other of unspeakable torture and brutal treatment by foreign military. My most favorite part of the story, without giving away too much, is when Maddie and Jacob realize that they understand each other as no one else can and forge a melding of souls. Of course, it doesn't just happen overnight. To begin, Mad Maddie has to plow into Jacob's house, car first and put the wheels in motion, so to speak. Not to be left out, there are recurring characters from previous books that entertain along the way: Rainbow, Kateri Kwinault and more. Other characters participate as busy bodies and nosy nellies, disbelievers and innocent supporters. I found this novel to be funny and sad, entertaining and scary, suspenseful and gut wrenching, poignant and heart wrenching throughout. Jacob, with his PTSD, the story behind it, Brandon and Jacob's belief that he is broken tore at my heartstrings. And isn't that what a good story should do?? Buy this book and read it, you will be glad you did!
BdWendel More than 1 year ago
The latest in Dodd's Virtue Falls series delivers agonized yet truly enjoyable characters, dry and hilarious wit, a little romance, and a truly suspenseful experience. If you are worried about the thrill factor being extreme and leaving the romantic suspense arena and venturing into the horror; don't. You are completely pulled through the book with enough suspense to create a thrilling ride, but not so much you need to sleep with the light on. Dodd draws into realistic and difficult life experiences for her main characters, yet never drags you into despair, she leaves you holding on to that spark of life you see inside of them each time you turn the page. We also get to continue the story of Kateri, who's been a favorite since book one, and whom I love just a little more each time. Overall a totally satisfying escape, one that I just wasn't quite ready to let go of.
CAD0720 More than 1 year ago
“Because I’m Watching” is Christina Dodd’s 3rd installment in her Virtue Falls series, and the best. This book can easily be read as a stand-alone, but you get the full feeling of the town/town folk if you read them all. To say Madeline Hewitson’s luck is bad is an understatement. Not only was she the lone survivor of her college dorm room massacre, she was accused of murdering her fiancé and is now known as Mad Maddie because of some seemingly crazy behavior. She moved to Virtue Falls and literally crashes into the life of Jacob Denisov. Jacob, a military veteran with PTSD arising from a failed mission, is holed up in his house across the street from hers, trying desperately not to live. With the front of his house now open to the neighborhood thanks to Maddie’s car crashing into it, Jacob unwillingly becomes involved in the comings and goings of not only Maddie, but the rest of the neighborhood as well. The more he becomes drawn to her (and she to him), the more he discovers he needs to know. Is she really crazy like his neighbors say, or is there more than meets the eye? If she’s not really crazy, what is happening and will they be able to figure it out in time? I LOVED this installment, holy cow did I ever. Save an entire day for when you read this book b/c I guarantee you will not want to put it down. I was pulled into this town, rooting for both of these characters, wanting vindication for Maddie and healing for Jacob. While the ending was not a cliffhanger, Ms Dodd did leave a window open that I’m ready to climb through…Can you please publish faster?
Blackravens_Reviews More than 1 year ago
AJ’s Review: Because I’m Watching by Christina Dodd is a riveting suspense that will draw the reader in hook, line and sinker. The vivid descriptions Ms. Dodd incorporates into this heart pounding, teeth gritting story unfolds like a movie on the big screen. I was enthralled in the plot from beginning to end because who wouldn’t be when someone is watching you. Between Maddie’s hallucinations and somewhat erratic behavior to Jacob’s overwhelming guilt and PTSD, Ms. Dodd makes it difficult for the reader to determine what’s real and what’s not, which is part of what made this book so good. The character and plot building is amazing. It has just the right amount of suspense, horror and torment. Although this is the third book that I’ve read of Ms. Dodd’s in The Virtue Falls series, I’m already anxiously anticipating the next one. Because I’m Watching is a mesmerizing, action packed suspense with enough twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. The characters are engaging and will quickly draw you into their realm of reality, which only leaves one question. Are you ready to figure out who’s watching in Christina Dodd’s latest book in The Virtue Falls series, Because I’m Watching? Rated 5 Ravens and a Recommended Read by AJ!
gqqfier15 More than 1 year ago
Great! First book I've been able to concentrate on in awhile. The emotions behind how it feels when someone is trying to make you feel crazy are very real.
Middle-of-the-nighter More than 1 year ago
Best of the Virtue Falls series yet! (and you don’t need to have read the other two, although you will want to) Jacob Denisov is a military veteran, living (if you could call it that) as a recluse in Virtue Falls, Washington. “Mad” Maddie Hewitson, his neighbor, is a young, sleep-deprived woman, who literally and figuratively crashes through his walls. Both are haunted by pasts they cannot escape. For Jacob, a need to feel guilt over the loss of his charges gets him through his days; Maddie is haunted by first witnessing the murders of her close friends, and then her fiancé, whose murder was never solved. When Maddie’s car crashes through Jacob’s front door, it forces him to confront the world again. Though she has ruined his home and illusion of safety, he is the first to come to her defense, recognizing that she is sleep-deprived, not on drugs. Because Maddie often sees things that aren’t there and calls the police frequently for these “sightings”, they are less inclined to believe her. Despite his inability to trust people, Jacob recognizes a kindred spirit in Maddie, and Maddie has found someone who understands her fears and maybe even believes her. He begins to suspect that someone or something is causing her “haunting” episodes. As the two grow closer, evil forces are at play, and the sheriff's department, Jacob, and Maddie are in a race to uncover the truth before it turns deadly. "Because I'm Watching" reintroduces some recurring characters from the previous novels in the series, but this book is a standalone. The characters are well drawn and the plot and suspense are what you would expect from Christina Dodd - i.e., a page-turner. Highly recommend!
mlyn2 More than 1 year ago
I totally enjoyed this book. I've read all of the Virtue Falls stories and this is my favorite, at least until the next one appears. I am not going to go into every detail of the book, some of the reviews are so explicit that they spoil the book for me. There is suspense, romance, a little sex and humor. The book was well written and gave you updates on characters from the previous books. What really surprised me was that there were a few, not many, editorial errors. Not enough to interrupt the flow of the story but it surprised me in a hardback. Get this book you won't be disappointed.
akreaderJH More than 1 year ago
WOW!!! Most excellent read Two great main characters - great how they helped each other. Sort of figured who the culprit was, but was thrown for a loop with a twist. Thank you Ms. Dodd for a wonderful book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once again Christina Dodd does not disappoint. Suspense, intrigue and a little bit of romance combine to create a fast paced must read. The characters; especially Jacob, Maddie and Kateri invite you into their lives and welcome you along for the ride.
mspring4 More than 1 year ago
From the moment I picked up this book I had a hard time putting it down. Maddie has witnessed two horrific events that she was able to survive and move forward. But she is haunted by her memories and unexplained terrorizing events. Maddie refuses to sleep at night because she knows that is when the monsters come out. Her lack of sleep leads her to crash her car into Jacobs’ house resulting in their first meeting. Jacob is a military hero suffering PTSD from his capture and torture in North Korea. He doesn’t want to live with the nightmares and deaths of his former recruits on his “hands”. He is in such a horrible heartbreaking state that he only wishes for death. Maddie and Jacob are kindred spirts even through Jacob refuses to join the world outside his grief. Luckily Maddie and other townspeople keeps pushing themselves into his life helping him slowly live again. Maddie is still being terrorized by unknown monsters that causes her neighbors and police to question her sanity. My heart broke for Maddie during each episode. I felt like every time she started to feel better or happy the “monsters” would show up. Thankfully Jacob is here to help her figure out what has been going on at her life. I was so happy to see Kateri as the sheriff and can’t wait for more of her story to unfold. I loved this book. I had a feeling about who the terrorizer was but it was still a nail biting conclusion. Can’t wait for the next book!
Samie224 More than 1 year ago
What A Way To Meet! Maddie and Jacob meet when Maddie accidentally breaks his house (and his life) wide open, by driving up into his living room. What a way to meet. As Maddie and Jacob start to heal each other, they realize they both suffer from "survivor's guilt". Jacob worries, is Maggie crazy? Dangerous? Or is something else going on? You'll have to read the book to find out. I thought I had the end all figured out (kind of), but Christina put a great twist in there. I loved the ending. This is a great, fast-paced story and goes on my Keeper Shelves. This book can be read and enjoyed w ithout reading the other Virtue Falls books, you'll want to read them all when you finish. I can't wait until the next book comes out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book. I read it in two sittings . It was very exciting and kept my interest throughout the book! I only set the book down to have dinner . This author is the best !
IVY2 More than 1 year ago
This book had me squirming in my seat! The characters in this book were nothing what I was expecting for the third book in the Virtue Falls series. Of course after reading Christina Dodd for as long as I have, I should have known better than to try to think ahead of her creatively twisted mind! I absolutely fell in love with the main characters and all of their neurotic flaws. This is a story of obsession, fear, strength and determination and it will make you view the neighbors on your street in a whole new way.
mcg0 More than 1 year ago
This is the third book in this series that I have read, and is the best so far in my opinion. In the acknowledgements at the beginning of the book, author Christina Dodd says that she wrote this story melding the classic movies Gaslight and Rear Window, and I can definitely see the influence of these 2 movies. Maddie suffered a very traumatic experience as a teen, and is suffering from PTSD as a result, although the majority of the community of VIrtue Falls simply thinks of her as "Mad Maddie". Maddie crashes into the house of her neighbor Jacob. who is himself suffering from PTSD after being tortured in a North Korean prison. The story of how these 2 people help to heal each other is combined with the story of who is trying to torment Maddie with monsters from her past. Another story thread deals with Kateri, a former Coast Guard officer and current sheriff of Virtue Falls. After a near-death experience in the first book in this series, Kateri is dealing with both physical and emotional aftereffects from that incident, and is facing re-election for sheriff. I look forward to reading more about Kateri in future books. While I guessed the identity of the person or persons tormenting Maddie fairly early on, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and eagerly look forward to the next book in the series.
LisaKS More than 1 year ago
Loved this book!! A must-read nail biter from the amazing Christina Dodd. Her books are always great, but this one really works on so many levels. Plus I now am completely suspicious of all my neighbors. (But they probably deserve it.) This book has it all and you will really get into it. I couldn't put it down - the world around me was put on hold. Do yourself a favor and get this book. It is brilliant!
CelticMarinePW More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. There were so many twists and turns, I could not put this down and ended up reading all night to finish once I started. I really felt for Jacob as I have family with combat PTSD. Ms. Dodd did a wonderful job of dealing with the subject matter. I actually figured out who was partly responsible after Jacob decided to do some investigating, though the other person was a complete and total surprise. Several characters from previous books in this series show up and there were also some surprises regarding the sheriff as well. Anyone who loves mysterious suspense stories with lots of twists should add this book to their bookshelf. I will be reading this series again. I did receive this book in exchange for an honest review and have to say I am not disappointed in this story at all.
TerriR More than 1 year ago
Because I'm Watching is by Christina Dodd and it is the third book in her Virtue Falls Series. I have read all 3 and I love them all! Ms. Dodd has truly captured mystery writing with Because I'm watching. I found it to be very suspenseful and it kept me engaged and enthralled throughout. There are 3 main and unique characters--Maddie, Jacob, and Kateri. I loved how the story engulfed each character and intertwined in each other's lives. I found this story to be very entertaining and a page turner. I was lucky enough to receive an Advanced Reader Copy and I can't wait to read Christina Dodd's next book! I took this book on vacation with me and I was not disappointed and I could not put it down!
Corduroy7 More than 1 year ago
Taking the past into the future! In my review of Obsession Falls (Virtue Falls #2) I described the novel as “an action-packed, suspenseful, page-turning thriller with more twists and turns than the most wicked and dangerous roller coaster in the world. The excitement builds on every page to various electrifying moments and is an edge-of-your-seat experience to read.” I couldn’t imagine how Christina Dodd could possibly make any subsequent novel go beyond “more” of any adjective the reader would like to substitute in their descriptive review. But, the author could virtually be whispering in the reader’s ear: “Read on! Just keep reading my next novel in the Virtue Falls Series!!” WoW! I try to read as little about any new titles by favorite authors as possible so as I’m thoroughly absorbed reading the opening chapters of “Because I’m Watching,” in seconds, I was stunned to read that a car “had shot up the concrete steps of his front porch, and exploded through the walls of his house, front wheels in the air, headed right for the heavens-and then, as it tiled toward earth, at him.” Now, imagine trying to put the book down on the nightstand, turn out the light, and go to sleep. What was I thinking starting to read this novel on a weeknight when the alarm goes off so early the next morning? Christina Dodd’s characters do not disappoint. I consider Christina Dodd to be one of the authors who shows her artistry in the selection of her words - to set the pace, to build the unexpected twists; the portrayal of her characters – main and supporting; the level of absorption that she creates for the reader with illuminating descriptions and revealing conversations. Madeline Hewitson and Jacob Denisov are each tormented by their past in different but painful ways. They are neighbors but certainly don’t meet in any type of traditional way. That is merely one of the many exciting features of a Christina Dodd novel! It was also wonderful to meet Kateri Kwinault on the next part of her life journey. I love the diversity of the supporting characters as through the terrific character descriptions and portrayal of their personalities, each one brings a unique quality to the story whether it’s the nosy neighbor (Mrs. Butenschoen); Rainbow Breezewing (waitress at the Oceanview Café); Mr. Setzer, Mr. Edkvist, Mr. Caldwell, and Mr. Harcourt (who hold court at the geezer table of the Oceanview Café); Cordelia (a customer at the Oceanview Café that lives, eats, and works by her own rules), Deputy Sheriff Gunder Bergen, Virtue Falls policeman Ed Legbrandt, or Dennis Wodzicki (insurance agent), to name just a few. I was lucky to be invited to read and review this novel and received an autographed, hardcover edition of "Obsession Falls" and the enclosure of a sachet stuffed with lavender grown on the author's property.
Oregongirl More than 1 year ago
A bite your nails, leave the light on, suspense thriller. I love the flow of this story and how quickly you were brought in to connect with each character. I lost myself in the worry that the character has for her sanity, who to trust, and what is real and not real. I appreciated that it was a story I didn't want to put down, so I didn't and read in one sitting, but then I was disappointed when I was done, because IT WAS THAT WELL WRITTEN! The setting of Virtue Falls and characters from previous stories felt like going home and hooking up again with family. The mystery thrown in of who is tormenting Madeline and why? I love how Ms. Dodd researches and has such believable medical synopsis or diagnosis and stretches your mind on PTSD AND MENTAL ILLNESS and you can really visualize from a persons point of view. The corruption of small town politics and neighborhoods that seem perfect but have underlying imperfections. You will love this new story and I highly recommend it!
MelissaWaldron More than 1 year ago
Love, love, loved this book. Christina Dodd's books are automatic buys for me. I think that I've read 90% of her books. I am enjoying the new direction her writing has taken... less sex, more thrill. :) Ms. Dodd is a wonderful storyteller. I like the main characters. They are flawed, but believable, likeable and interesting. I liked the byplay between them and I laughed out loud a couple of times. Just make sure that you set aside a block of time to read the book, because you will not be able to put it down. Full disclosure: I was given a copy of this book to read and review... I got the better part of the deal! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This mystery was intriguing from the very beginning. Not only was the beginning captivating but the entire book created a pleasant uncertainty which is the benchmark of all great mysteries. The writer hands out plenty of suspense, joy, terror, and even a dollop of romance. There were enough surprises to keep me off-balance which engendered anger and shock. The bad guy was truly just that, a bad dude. Do not worry, you will not have mixed feelings for the villain or the book. You will hate the villain but love the book. This one is a definite keeper.