The Watson Girl by Leslie Wolfe, 244 pages, Italics Publishing, 2nd Edition, January 21st, 2017. Genre: Crime/Serial Killers/Mystery and Suspense. Warning: May Contain Spoilers.
by Leigh Holland
The Watson Girl is a gripping serial killer thriller featuring an emotionally scarred, tough-as-nails female FBI agent, Tess Winnett. Agent Winnett has a perfect record. She always gets her man- though that usually means killing him in self-defense. After a harrowing near-death experience, Tess returns to the force early, despite her difficulties coping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Her first assignment is performing due diligence on the Watson file, a case they thought closed long ago. Fifteen years prior, the Watson family was murdered, with their four- year-old daughter Laura as the sole survivor. Laura is known as “The Watson Girl”.
Tess checks up on the claim of the alleged killer, “The Family Man”, that he didn’t kill three of the thirty-four families he was accused of murdering. After visiting him on death row, she double checks the case files, discovering several differences between the three crimes and the others The Family Man confessed to. With the aid of the local officers and MD who originally worked the cases, Tess puts together the pieces of the puzzle bit by bit. Meanwhile, Laura Watson appears on television talking about a new regression therapy she’s trying in hopes of regaining her repressed memories of the awful event. Tess races against the clock to identify and capture the killer before he can return to finish off “The Watson Girl”.
The style and plot structure is reminiscent of James Patterson’s books and had the mood of “Silence of the Lambs”. The well-woven story is told primarily in third person with occasional glimpses into the mind of the killer through first person internal narrative. I was particularly impressed with the portrayal of the killer himself. Wolfe portrays the malignant narcissistic psychopath to a tee. Tess naturally feels a connection to Laura, as they are both survivors of a horrible crime, both struggling with the anxiety and stress in their own ways. Laura’s survival is paramount to Tess in the scheme of things. If Laura can survive and thrive, so can Tess hope to overcome the inner scars of her ordeal.
Special Agent Tess Winnett also appears in Dawn Girl. Both stories can be read as stand-alone novels. Make time in your schedule to spend about four hours reading because you won’t want to put it down. The Watson Girl is disturbing and the reveal, horrifying; but if you love thrillers you won’t regret it one bit. I loved reading this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys crime novels, serial killer stories, police procedurals, and thrillers.
You can find this book on Amazon at The Watson Girl.