Someone to Watch Over Me is the latest book in a series by one of my favourite Icelandic authors. Detective Thóra is on the case again following a fire in a residential home for people of varying disabilities. Who is she being fed clues from? Across town a little boy whose babysitter was killed in a hit and run accident is being looked after by her ghost, or so his mother believes, resulting in a full exorcism. Are these two stories related somehow?
I hate to say it, but this book didn’t grab me. I have loved all of the previous books, and particularly her foray into horror last year with I Remember You. I found this one quite hard to follow, with the connections tenuous. It seemed as if the author also felt this, with lots of deliberate recapping and explanations, making it all feel a little dumbed down.
I initially thought the “babysitter” storyline was the main one in this book and I was quite excited by it, but the “fire” storyline came in, which is actually the majority of the book. I can’t put my finger on it but somehow it just never felt like a real story and I wasn’t interested in knowing what happened next. This was really a surprise as I have found all the previous ones to be page turners even through the stories can be quite different.
On a positive note, we get to see some more of the usual side characters like Matthew and Bella, although not much of Thóra’s family life this time. And it’s always fun to read about Icelandic place names that you recognise. I will still look forward to the next one!