Watched: A note about the ending

Watched-smSunday, January 5, 2014

This feels like a strange post to write. Watched is far from the first standalone novel I’ve written away from Jessica, but it is the first to be published.

Sales have been good and the reception as mixed as I expected. It’s far, far darker than the Jessica books and I knew some people wouldn’t like or get it.

But the thing I didn’t expect is that a handful of people haven’t ‘got’ the ending. It was read by a fair few people before it was released and nobody flagged up an issue. I’ve also rechecked the text and all the clues I meant to be there are there. Because there are a few people who haven’t got it, though, I will explain it here.

Needless to say, there are SPOILERS ahead. Please don’t read on if you don’t want to be spoiled.


The end is meant to be open to interpretation, bearing in mind that you never actually get Charlie’s version of what happened on the night Dougie was attacked. The last thing you get from his point of view is: “…he’d failed her [Esther] and now had to think of a way to redeem himself, without involving the police.”

After that, you only have Esther’s version.

It’s not supposed to be complete in the sense that everything’s put on a plate. With the information you have, you can decide on whichever ending you want. With Charlie’s last thought, is that him thinking that he is going to attack Dougie? Esther has just pulled a bat out from mud and spotted mud on Charlie’s shoes after he denied leaving the house, so that’s what she thinks…

You might think differently. Perhaps Charlie isn’t capable of attacking Dougie and it is all a misunderstanding? It’s for the reader to decide how much they know the characters.

The crash takes the story full circle. What happens to good people when they allow themselves to be dragged down to someone else’s level?


So… that’s it. I’m not sure what else to add. Perhaps I was trying to be too clever or perhaps the clues were too obscure. I don’t think that line from Charlie could be much clearer – it’s the last line of his final chapter. It isn’t hidden away.

That said, perhaps I just failed in what I was trying to do? I’m not sure…lots of people did get it. The best reviews for Watched, such as this and this, have been stronger than anything I’ve ever had for Jessica. Either way, if you were confused, I hope this has cleared it up for you.