A man is framed for a murder he did not commit. Patrick Davis is a high school English teacher and wannabe screenwriter. After 10 years of writing screenplays in his spare time, he manages to sell one of his scripts for a production entitled, They're Watching and he is invited to cooperate on the movie. He can't believe his luck. He throws over his day job and absorbs himself in the project.
But nine days later, Patrick finds himself without a job. This follows an altercation with the lead actor, Keith Connor, resulting in the actor slipping and injuring himself, and then falsely accusing Patrick of assaulting him. So Patrick is summarily fired and the production stalled due to the actor's injuries. But then Patrick finds himself being sued by Connor for the alleged assault and by the production company for the shutdown costs.
Through a friend, Patrick secures a job teaching screen writing at a University so he can start managing his legal bills. At home, however, his marriage is a sham. His wife Ari has had an affair with their neighbor, Don and there seems no way of mending the rift. And at night Patrick consigns himself to the living room couch.
But Patrick is jolted out of his humdrum existence when the DVDs start arriving. Someone is watching Patrick and Ari. They are being filmed and recorded both from within their house and outside of it. Then the e-mails start coming ... and the phone calls, with instructions for Patrick to perform increasingly reckless acts or face dire consequences. All this leads to him being framed for the murder of his nemesis, Keith Connor.
Patrick is a wanted man but he cleverly provides the police with enough evidence to keep him from being immediately arrested. He's too tense to be of any use at his university job and he allows it to fall away so he can concentrate on finding out who has framed him and why. In and out of trouble he goes with his foes or the police in hot pursuit. And the more danger he and his wife face, the closer they become and they start to rekindle some of their former fire. Finally, after a roller coaster ride, Patrick's foes are fully exposed.
From the beginning, the story is fast-paced and suspenseful and you can't help but like Patrick. He's self-effacing and convincingly intelligent and the tension and terror he feels as he stumbles from one crisis to another, are palpable. However, his escapades go on for far too long so that with about 200 pages left to the end, you wish the story would end there and then. Sometimes the story gets a little too technical to properly follow. Furthermore, there are some interesting characters close to Patrick that the author seems to want to cast suspicion on only for him to change tack for no clear reason. And disappointingly, Patrick's real foes turn out to be remote, faceless characters that fail to excite so that by the end of the book, you can't help but feel you've been robbed. But the book is readable nevertheless.
Best part of story, including ending:
The villains were too remote and too many to be unsuccessful chasing just one man.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene is when Patrick Davis realizes that his final captors are not real policemen but actors hired to act as policemen. He plays along with them however, not revealing what he knows while he thinks up ways of getting himself away from them.
Opinion about the main character:
Patrick is too cowardly to have a go at his wife because of her affair with the neighbor, Don. So he prolongs their torment.