By Gayle Curtis
Published on: January 1, 2020
This book flew by for me. I remember reading it for what felt like just a few minutes only to find I was already 20% through. I thought “That can’t be possible.” But it was. I Choose You is a twisted and disturbing psychological thriller that makes you thankful for the family you actually have (I hope).
When a killer chooses you, what choice do you have?
Thirty years ago, Elise and Nathaniel shared a horrific trauma that united them in grief. Now, grown up and married with a young family, they feel their worst nightmares are behind them. Until the day their daughter is abducted and murdered.
Both Elise and Nathaniel lost their mothers to a notorious killer who manipulated innocent victims into taking their own lives. Could it be that ‘the Watcher’ has returned for another round of the same sadistic game? Why now? And why are Elise and Nathaniel being targeted again?
When Elise’s family falls under suspicion, her world crashes down around her. Is there anyone she can trust, or is her whole life built on lies?
Only one thing is clear: someone left their cruel game unfinished all those years ago. This time the Watcher intends to win – once and for all.
One thing that I believe is important for a potential reader to know before starting this book is that suicide is a subject that has a predominant place within the story. Not that it is just discussed, but is also seen as a game or theoretical discussion by an unknown assailant or manipulator in the italicized chapters. I know it can be a difficult subject for some, so I wanted to make sure it was known that it is brought up more than just in a single paragraph or in a single flashback chapter.
For the most part I Choose You moves very fluidly and fast. The chapters are primarily broken down into ‘Then’ and ‘Now’ with several chapters intermixed with what feels like a journal or diary entry from an unknown assailant/manipulator. The story starts strong in “Now” where you see a crazed Elise and are given a chance to start understanding the frailty of her emotional and mental state. In this opening chapter we see Elise’s world after the death of her daughter and it is here you learn of the toll this death has taken as all the events, mistakes, and incorrect media reporting has taken on her and her family. The main players in the book are mostly family members, but Ida also has a boyfriend and his mother in the picture as well.
Most of the chapters are in the “Then” sections. To tell the story completely, we get a front seat to what transpired the day of Ida’s 16th birthday along with the aftermath of a house break-in and the attack on Ida. Afterwards we begin to see the family as they work through their worry, anger, concern, and later grief. Accusations, hidden truths, false accusations can all be found within the story.
The suicide/murder chapters by the unknown manipulator were unusual scenes as we were brought into the mind of this person as they psycho-analyzed people, how they thought, and attempted to manipulate others into a certain way of thinking and debating. It is these scenes that feel almost clinical, like a doctor performing research and writing down their observations. To be honest, I was definitely uncomfortable at times as I read these chapters. Not because they were graphic, but due to how this individual went about their manipulation.
While I enjoyed the story and found it a good read that I can recommend, there were some parts toward the end that did leave me feeling a bit confused and I felt the last part of the book a bit uneven as all the truths get told. The ending pieces that led the police and others to some conclusions left me wondering a few things and wished they had been more explained. I really wish I could go into it more, but don’t want to ruin anything for a potential reader. In addition to the end, some of the “Now” chapters felt out of place or the Now story felt out of sync with the “Then” chapter.
Overall, a fast-paced story, with memorable characters, and an emotionally messed up family that fans of psychological and domestic thrillers can enjoy.
Rating: 4 stars