I See You - Clare Mackintosh

Acknowledgements

It is an accepted fact that second books can be tricky beasts, and this one would not have happened without the support, guidance and practical help of many generous people. My sincere thanks to Guy Mayhew, David Shipperlee, Sam Blackburn, Gary Ferguson, Darren Woods and Joanna Harvey for their help with researching this book. All errors are mine, and artistic licence is liberally used. Special gratitude to Andrew Robinson, who gave up so much of his time to help that I put him in the book.

Thank you to Charlotte Beresford, Merilyn Davies and Shane Kirk, for plot discussions and beta reading, and to Sally Boorman, Rachel Lovelock and Paul Powell for bidding generously in charity auctions for the right to name a character.

The life of a writer is frequently a solitary one. Mine is greatly enriched by the communities on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, the members of which are always ready with encouraging words, virtual glasses of champagne, and suggestions for guinea pig names. In both my online and my real life I continue to be astounded by the generosity of the crime scene, which could not be more supportive. Authors are a great bunch of people.

I am lucky to be represented by the best agent in the business, Sheila Crowley, and I am enormously proud to be a Curtis Brown author. Special thanks to Rebecca Ritchie and Abbie Greaves for their support.

I wouldn’t be half the writer I am without the talent and insight of my editor, Lucy Malagoni, who is a joy to work with. The Little, Brown team is exceptional, and my thanks goes to Kirsteen Astor, Rachel Wilkie, Emma Williams, Thalia Proctor, Anne O’Brien, Andy Hine, Kate Hibbert and Helena Doree for their enthusiasm and dedication.

There should be some kind of award for the families of writers, who put up with the mood swings, the deadlines, the burnt suppers and the late school runs. In the absence of medals, my love and thanks go to Rob, Josh, Evie and George, who light up my life and make my books possible.

Finally, thank you from the bottom of my heart to the booksellers, libraries and readers who loved I Let You Go enough to make it a success. I am so very grateful, and hope you enjoy I See You just as much.

You do the same thing every day.

You know exactly where you’re going.

You’re not alone.

1

The man behind me is standing close enough to moisten the skin on my neck with his breath. I move my feet forward an inch and press myself into a grey overcoat that smells of wet dog. It feels as if it hasn’t stopped raining since the start of November, and a light steam rises from the hot bodies jammed against each other. A briefcase jabs into my thigh. As the train judders around a corner I’m held upright by the weight of people surrounding me, one unwilling hand against the grey overcoat for temporary support. At Tower Hill the carriage spits out a dozen commuters and swallows two dozen more, all hell-bent on getting home for the weekend.

‘Use the whole carriage!’ comes the announcement.

Nobody moves.

The grey overcoat has gone, and I’ve shuffled into its place, preferable because I can now reach the handrail, and because I no longer have a stranger’s DNA on my neck. My handbag has swung round behind my body, and I tug it in front of me. Two Japanese tourists are wearing gigantic rucksacks on their chests, taking up the space of another two people. A woman across the carriage sees me looking at them; she catches my eye