I Will Make You Pay
by Teresa Driscoll
Genre: Thriller / Mystery
Length: 317 Pages
Release date: October 10, 2019
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Every Wednesday, like clockwork, the terror returns.
It seems like an ordinary Wednesday, until the phone rings. A mysterious caller with a chilling threat. Journalist Alice Henderson hangs up, ready to dismiss it as a hoax against the newspaper. But the next Wednesday, the stalker makes another move—and it becomes clear that this is all about Alice.
Someone wants her to suffer, but for what? Her articles have made her a popular local champion—could it be her past rather than her work that’s put her life in danger? Alice is determined not to give in to fear, but with the police investigation at a dead end, her boyfriend insists on hiring private investigator Matthew Hill.
With every passing Wednesday the warnings escalate, until it’s not only Alice but also her family in the stalker’s sights. As her tormentor closes in, can Alice uncover what she’s being punished for before the terrifying threats become an unthinkable reality?
My thanks to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for sending me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher.
This story alternates between three separate POV characters: Alice, the main focal point of the story and victim of stalking, PI Matthew Hill (who readers may recognize from Driscoll’s past work) who is hired to look into Alice’s case, and an unnamed third person, a disturbed man with a traumatic past. (CW for child molestation in this character’s chapters; this is very directly implied but there are no graphic descriptions of what happens.) The alternating points of view were one of the novels’ main strengths; they helped with pacing and the voices were distinct enough to keep things feeling fresh the whole way through.
One of my major issues with this novel is that the major red herring is far too obviously a red herring; the author points relentlessly at one particular suspect with zero subtlety, and unless this is your first mystery novel, it will become immediately apparent that you need to look elsewhere. This wouldn’t be such a problem were it not for the fact that this character takes up a lot of real estate in this novel. The pages devoted to this suspect feel like a waste of time well before the mystery is solved because they’re obviously going nowhere. While these passages delve into Alice’s back story and so do at times serve a purpose, they take up far more focus than feels justified.
Driscoll does a good job when it comes to maintaining tension. The stalker only targets Alice on Wednesday of each week, but the tension is always there because Alice is always dreading whatever comes next. This book kept me turning the pages. Ultimately, the ending fizzled out for me, and my overall experience with this book was just lukewarm.