Re-Read Review: I’m Watching You by Karen Rose

Posted on December 8, 2009

3


Series: None

Hero: Abe Reagan

Heroine: Kristen Mayhew

Star prosecutor Kristen Mayhew has a dangerous secret admirer. He seems to know her every thought, her every move. He sends her letters. And he kills the criminals she herself is powerless to stop.

This avenger even knows Kristen’s deepest secret–the one that has kept her from surrendering her heart to Abe Reagan, the police detective sworn to protect her. Like Kristen, Reagan is haunted by the loss of something precious that can never be regained. But in the shadow of a calculating serial killer, the two turn to each other and dare to rediscover passion…even as the messages and vicious murders continue. Even as the killer’s thrist for retribution makes Kristen a target for murder.

Kristen Mayhew is a prosecutor who has dedicated her life to putting away criminals. However hard she works, some criminals get away with their crimes because they have the means to bribe and/or put the fear into witnesses and jurors to distort the outcome of a trial. Now a Vigilante Killer is after the criminals that Kristen was unable to convict, assigning himself as her “humble servant”. As part of his self-appointed duty, the Vigilante Killer sends a box containing the possessions of each victim to Kristen and includes with it a note leading to their graves. A murderer killing other murderers is poetic justice except Kristen cannot condone anyone defining their own law and order. Working with Homicide detectives, Kristen goes through her old cases to help the police uncover and stop the Vigilante Killer from taking any more “victims”.

Abe Reagan is a police detective newly assigned to the Homicide Division after 5 years of undercover work. With his new partner, Mia Mitchell, Abe is assigned to catch the Vigilante Killer. In the mix is a nosy, ambitious reporter who has made public the fact that Kristen has a secret admirer who is killing off criminals of cases she was unable to get convictions. As a result, a criminal lord who is bent on avenging the death of his son murdered by the Vigilante Killer sets his sights on capturing Kristen because he thinks that she knows the identity of her admirer and can be used to capture the guy. The criminal lord isn’t the only person after Kristen though; some family and friends of the Vigilante Killer’s victims are now also after her because they, too, thinks she knows the face of her admirer.

This novel is equally packed full of suspense and romance. A warning though, the violence is pretty high and descriptive. But while the descriptions of the crimes make me cringe I was hooked to read on. I was rooting for the Vigilante Killer and hoping that he wouldn’t get caught because the victims that he killed off were some of the biggest scums of the earth — including one defense attorney who verbally brutalize rape victims in court to make them look like sluts and liars.

The supporting characters are great— you get to meet Abe’s parents, his siblings, and a few colleagues in his new division.  Mia and his younger brother, Aidan, are minor characters in this novel but major players in subsequent books. Abe’s family is really lively and I couldn’t get enough of them. The siblings’ bantering is fun and really helped to dispel some of the dark moments in the book. Mia and Abe are new partners but they work pretty well together. I became a fan of Mia since I read Count to Ten which was released two books after this novel so getting her back story is pretty sweet for me.

Abe is a wonderful, sweet hero. He was previously married and he and his wife were expecting their first child when a bullet meant for him struck his wife and their unborn child died. Abe’s wife survived but existed in a vegetative state for 5 years before dying of an infection. Despite this, Abe did not live to make everyone around him miserable. When he first met Kristen, he was working undercover. His reaction upon meeting her was instantaneous attraction and he felt guilty for feeling lust for another woman while his wife barely existed because of him — as he blames himself. Six years later and Abe finds his reaction to Kristen was just as strong as when he first saw her. While Abe was certain that Kristen was not immune to him, something was holding her back from fully committing herself to a permanent relationship.

Kristen comes across as a very cool and mysterious person from the onset of the story. As a prosecutor, her professional reputation was above reproach. Personally, no one knew much about her even those who work closest to her. As her relationship with Abe progresses, her past slowly unravels and it was heartbreaking to learn what drives her to become the best prosecutor that she is. Even after the two got together, there was still so much more obstacles for them to overcome – especially for Kristen who has secrets that she felt would shatter her relationship with Abe.

Re-reading this novel was even better than the first time around. I appreciated the characters more because I met them in previous books I read. By the way, the Vigilante Killer is someone who really irked me in the book. So if you’re reading this book and someone irks you much, you might be onto who the Vigilante Killer is. 😉 …or maybe I’m just easily annoyed, lol.

***SPOILER***

(highlight to read)

There is a pregnancy HEA. I know there are readers who dislike this type of HEA but, clichéd as it was for the misconception, it was a miracle considering what happened to Kristen. When Abe rejoiced with Kristen, I smiled cheesily to myself. Lol.

***END SPOILER***

I’m Watching You is part of a connected series but stands well on its own. If you prefer to read all of Karen Rose’s books in order, I’m Watching You is book #3. If you want to start from the beginning of her backlist, check out Don’t Tell first. I didn’t read Karen Rose’s books in order. In fact, my first book by the author was Count to Ten (book #6) followed by Scream for Me (book #8) and then I read Don’t Tell, lol.

Grading: A

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