BOOK CLUB: I Follow You

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“I Follow You” by Peter James is a novel by an established author who is well known for his long-running Roy Grace series. This is a completely stand-alone thriller, and it’s a great introduction to his work. Vividly written, this will quickly hook readers and remains unputdownable almost until the last word.

Marcus is obsessed with time, so it’s rare for him to be running late. Ever. But here he is, running late for work; and in this unusual state, he nearly mows down a pregnant jogger. Their contact is fleeting at best, but his (almost) victim reminds him strongly of a girl who dumped him in a particularly cruel way early in his teens. Could this be her, all grown up?

We know she’s not. And it isn’t more than a few pages before Marcus knows it too. However, it doesn’t matter. He’s noticed Georgie now, and quickly becomes more and more obsessed with her. His interest turns to an unhealthy fixation with unnerving speed.

Georgie is blithely unaware of his obsession. She’s newly pregnant, in love, and her fitness business is starting to take off. She’s got no particular reason to pay more than passing attention to a respected obstetrician at the local hospital. She’s chosen another obstetrician that she feels more comfortable with, but that’s not a big deal – is it?

It is really quite frightening how easily Marcus begins to manipulate Georgie’s life. James does a fantastic job of showing how easily an unethical person can manipulate and deceive others, and how easily we can be convinced to dismiss our uneasy niggles.

The tension builds steadily until you almost want to shriek at Georgie to alert her to the danger. This is highly credible; it’s easy to believe events, even when you’re thinking “but surely not…”. Because at the same time, another part of your brain is assuring you that oh yes, surely that could happen. This is one of the most chilling things about this novel – that James takes everyday interactions and gives them a nasty twist.

The characters, too, are credible.  Georgie is lively and real, and it’s easy to understand how and why she brushes her misgivings aside. We’re all socially conditioned to certain behaviours, and it’s hard to trust your instincts when they go against those behaviours. Georgie is a character most readers will understand and empathise with. Caring about her and what happens to her makes the tension all the greater.

And Marcus, nasty as he is, is believable too. We’ve all met people like him: people who get upset when things don’t go their way, people who put on a good social front but aren’t really very likeable, people who are unreasonably convinced of their own rightness. Marcus eventually takes these behaviours further than any normal person would, but James makes it easy to believe that extra step.

I really enjoyed “I Follow You”. It’s a standout thriller, credible and tense. I suppose that if you dissect it, no single part of it is particularly original. But James isn’t trying to keep secrets from his reader. He’s just ratcheting up the tension. And it works; I felt like I needed a good lie down once I’d finished reading. Highly recommended.

ISBN: 9781509816286 / Pan Macmillan Australia

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading “I Follow You” by Peter James. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

9 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: I Follow You

  1. I Follow You well and truly freaked me out. Georgie expects her bad luck to come around again and again, but never would she have expected that this time it would be in the form of an evil doctor – a new acquaintance to her and respected medic to the whole Jersey island.
    Marcus Valentine represents mine, and I would expect a lot of women’s, worst nightmare. A doctor who sees you in your most vulnerable state and takes advantage in the very worst ways possible. He really does think he is God, and he proves it time and time again. The story, particularly Dr Valentine’s character, gave me the creeps. I felt thoroughly uncomfortable reading the story from his perspective – inside his brain was not a place I want to be. Even now having finished the book, I am finding it hard to think about it, I don’t know how Peter James managed to be there for so long in order to write this novel.
    I think there were some missed opportunities to play out the stalking storyline, particularly with the use of the running app – which I had never considered before, but really does play into a perfect opportunity for any stalker. I wish there could have been more exploration of that, rather than the amount of medical scares. I expected it to be more manipulative than what it was, but Valentine was just pure evil… and narcissistic to his core.
    In saying that, it was a quick read with a good tempo to the writing style. It kept me reading, even when the story was at its creepiest point. If you’re in the mood for a thriller of a different kind, or a story from a different perspective to where you ever want to find yourself – I would recommend this book.
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan Australia for the opportunity to read and review I Follow You by Peter James.

  2. Wow – this book is a stay up all night, page turning, couldn’t put down, scary thriller, that had me hooked from the outset. I was heavily invested in the characters, I really liked Georgie, her obstetrician Kath Clow, her girlfriend Lucy, even weird and quirky children’s entertainer Edouardo, her flight instructor fiancée Roger, Nurse Kiera Dale, young Romanian medical student Robert Resmes, Marcus’s current wife Claire and Marcus’s ex-wife Elaine.

    Gynae-oncologist Marcus Valentine, only serves the finest champagne and wines from Burgundy, infatuated with Lynette who had unceremoniously dumped him in his teens, Marcus thinks Georgie might be her.

    Marcus has it all, a gorgeous wife, three beautiful children, magnificent home, successful career, highly respected by his work colleagues. But he is
    a smarmy Porsche driving, time possessed control freak, manipulative, pure evil, pompous, disturbing narcissist in a white coat, who thinks he can play God.

    The story is terrifying and ratcheted up to a thrilling crescendo, thank you so much Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan, for the chance to review
    I Follow You by Peter James – what a ride.

    The most important thing to take away from this read is: – runners be VERY careful what you share on line.

  3. I Follow You by Peter James, was a very tense and scary story. It was also a very good read, hard to put down. The characters were believable, for example, Marcus Valentine, a well respected doctor in the community, also has a very different side, and he develops a fixation on George McLean who he accidently almost runs down in his car while she is jogging one morning. Georgie reminds him of a girl he was strongly attracted to in his teens, and the story evolves around his overpowering need to have Georgie in his life. The dark side of the story shows that maybe we never really know a person, and how obsession can take control.

  4. What a great read! It had me hooked from start to finish.

    It’s a sharp paced thriller with lots of tension that keeps you turning the pages and wanting more but also wanting it all to stop at the same time!

    I loved the short sharp chapters alternating between the characters. The setting was great, the writing style exceptional, the characters and side stories credible. I really couldn’t fault it!

    It’s a book that literally had me curling my toes during the last few chapters whilst hoping for the best.

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan for the chance to read and review this book. I can’t wait to read more by Peter James!

  5. I Follow You by Peter James is a page turning thriller set in Jersey in the Channel Islands and is a warning not to share too much information on Social Media.
    Marcus Valentine is a well respected consultant gynae-oncologist. He appears to have his life well under control but he is rather obsessed with timing, his mantra is Timing is Everything. However one day his life is shaken up when he thinks he sees an ex-girlfriend from his teenage years and becomes obsessed with the woman he now believes she is.
    Georgie is the unfortunate woman who Marcus becomes obsessed with. She is a personal trainer and runner and its through her running profile Marcus is able to learn more about her habits and begin to get under her skin.
    I enjoyed this thriller, having been fortunate enough to holiday several times on Jersey I identified with the setting. Oh and I also did amateur dramatics in Brighton like Marcus’ mum (well hopefully not quite like her!).
    As the story progressed and Marcus began to take over Georgie’s life I did find it a bit strange that Georgie didn’t spot some obvious clues to what was going on. But maybe it was baby brain and worry about her fiancé Roger.
    A very enjoyable read. Many thanks to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Macmillan for the chance to read it.

  6. I really enjoyed reading I Follow You by Peter James. His books are so well written.
    Based on Marcus Valentine and his rather odd upbringing and shortfalls, he is a well respected gynae-oncologist.
    In his early years he fell in love with a ginger haired beauty who dismissed him, even though he thought he was in love. This memory carries through to adulthood and even though Marcus is seemingly happily married with 3 children and a loving wife, he is still searching for something else.

    Enter Georgie, with her auburn hair and sleek limbs. Marcus nearly runs her over at a stop light, and he is stunned as he really thinks it is the girl from his earlier years. Marcus then becomes very obsessed with Georgie and starts to stalk her.
    Georgie is a personal trainer and is very happily married to Roger whom is a pilot. They are expecting their first , much wanted and longed for child. There is a terrible accident on the runway and Roger is seriously injured.
    The story progresses chillingly from here.
    This is a must read and I look forward to reading the two other books by Peter James.
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace for this fabulous read.

  7. Peter James’ I Follow You is a riveting, dramatic and utterly chilling read that builds tension from the very first page and keeps you on the edge of your seat right til the end. A different kind of thriller, this book will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading. A disturbing story about obsession, trust, and darkness hidden in unexpected places.

    A cast of strong characters surround the main character Georgie McLean, with of course the evil Marcus Valentine who puts on a veneer of normality, respectability and decency. A fabulous setting and well paced writing made this an enjoyable if somewhat stressful novel. Many thanks to Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan for the opportunity to read and review Peter James’ I Follow You.

  8. Dr Marcus Valentine has it all a gorgeous loving wife, three kids and a fantastic job which he loves. He lives in a world of fine wines and champagne, dinner parties and luxury.
    Marcus has always held on to the memories of his first unrequited love Lynette. Driving to work one day his mind elsewhere and not on the road he almost hits a female jogger crossing the road. One woman who looks exactly like Lynette.

    Georgie Maclean is a personnel trainer out for her daily run when as she’s crossing the road a car that doesn’t seem to have noticed the lights have changed, is coming straight for her.

    One night Marcus and his wife throw a dinner party and unbeknown to him he has invited Georgie’s partner and Georgie. Marcus decides he must get to know Georgie.
    This starts an unhealthy obsession towards her, that nearly has dire consequences.

    I Follow You is the kind of story that will make you look at the world around you a little different.
    You might think about checking your followers on social media and think about those aps you’ve downloaded.
    It’s a quick paced story that keeps you really involved in the story and eager to find what’s happening next.
    It’s dark and creepy thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

    I really enjoyed this book and am thankful to Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan for giving me a copy to read.

  9. I Follow You is a suspenseful thriller by Peter James which gave me goose bumps.

    Marcus Valentine a well-respected, gyno-oncologist, is a man who has it all, the beautiful house, wife and family. But is this enough? Marcus on the way to the hospital has a chance encounter with a young fitness instructor Georgie. As Georgie’s red hair simmers in the sunlight, Marcus reflex’s on his past, in his adolescence he was infatuated with a young women whom ultimately dismissed his feelings. Reliving this rejection sparks the beginning of a high tense game, a game where Marcus will do everything in his power to get the girl.

    I enjoyed reading the novel, the characters were well established, relatable and realistic. Georgie is a sweet women, trying to build a life with her partner Roger. Her character invokes deep emotions, we sympathise with her struggles, as she takes on gut wrenching challenges caused by Marcus’s secret obsession. The novel is also relevant to the current infatuation with social media and apps, it is a timely reminder to stop sharing our every movement to complete strangers online.

    Peter James is a well-known crime and thriller writer, with 36 novels under his belt, including numerous number one best sellers. This was the first of his novels I have had the pleasure of reading and I will definitely be reading more now!

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