Skip to main content

Just Watch Me

Review

Just Watch Me

How does one follow a franchise like Dexter, the sympathetic serial killer featured in a series of novels that spawned a successful television series? Jeff Lindsay, Dexter’s creator, has the answer. JUST WATCH ME introduces a brilliant thief named Riley Wolfe, who has a penchant for planning incredibly difficult heists with big payoffs. The more complicated they are, the better that Wolfe likes it, and the book features one that seems all but impossible --- a caper for the ages.

Wolfe is an enigmatic and complex character. We learn fairly early in the proceedings that he is a master of disguise. It is also revealed that “Riley Wolfe” is not his original government name, either. He is a shadowy figure, indeed. What little we do know about Wolfe comes to light through the efforts of FBI Special Agent Frank Delgado, who is obsessed with hunting down Wolfe and bringing him to justice. A decent portion of the book is devoted to Delgado’s investigation into Wolfe’s past. It is his belief that what he uncovers will serve as a means of predicting Wolfe’s future actions, thus enabling him to be on the scene when Wolfe appears so he may be brought to justice. The resulting information, as presented by Lindsay, creates a subtle picture that makes Wolfe a bit more of a sympathetic character in the eyes of the reader, if not in Delgado’s.

"JUST WATCH ME succeeds on all levels. While one cannot think of Lindsay without Dexter coming to mind, his latest almost immediately erases any disappointment one might feel as the result of Dexter’s apparently permanent absence."

Meanwhile, Wolfe is planning a heist that is breathtaking in its audacity. The Crown Jewels of the Persian Empire are going to be displayed at the Eberhardt Museum in New York, under the watchful eye of the Revolutionary Guard of the Islamic Republic of Iran and a security force comprised of former active-duty members of the United States Special Forces. Wolfe isn’t greedy. He doesn’t want all of the jewels; he’s just eyeing the Daryayeh-E-Noor, the largest pink diamond in the world, which is worth billions. He recruits a brilliant art forger into the game, a woman who represents the only chink in his emotional armor.

Lindsay gives the reader a breadcrumb revelation of the plot as it unfolds, even as Delgado, being a step or two behind Wolfe, closes in on his target. It’s great fun watching Wolfe execute his plan, which works with varying degrees of success. There are plans, and there are plans. One can’t always get entirely what one wants. Seeing what he gets (and what he doesn’t) constitutes the entertainment here.

JUST WATCH ME succeeds on all levels. While one cannot think of Lindsay without Dexter coming to mind, his latest almost immediately erases any disappointment one might feel as the result of Dexter’s apparently permanent absence. While both characters share meticulous planning skills and a psychopathic worldview (as well as a smart, dogged pursuer), this book is different enough from the Dexter series to prevent it from coming off as a copycat. I can’t wait for the next installment.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on December 5, 2019

Just Watch Me
by Jeff Lindsay

  • Publication Date: December 3, 2019
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton
  • ISBN-10: 1524743941
  • ISBN-13: 9781524743949