Just Watch Me

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Dec 2020

Member Reviews

Ok this book was AWESOME! I loved the Dexter series. I knew as soon as I saw Jeff Lindsay's name I needed to read this. His new character Riley Wolfe is incredible. As a child he was born poor and constantly bullied. Until his dad taught him "Be smarter" than those bullies.  So he changes his name to Riley Wolfe and changes his life. He's always looking for his next adventure that will make him money and excitement. Then comes The Ocean of Light a huge beautiful gem worth 15 billion. Agent Delgado has been chasing the wind known as Riley Wolfe for years. As he gets closer to the man behind the name he soon realizes he's been 1 step behind. I truly hope there's another book.
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Title: Just Watch Me

Series : Riley Wolfe #1

Author:Jeff Lindsey

Genre: thriller

Rating: 4

masterful thief plots an impossible crime—stealing the Iranian Crown Jewels.


From the author of the wildly successful Dexter series comes a new, mesmerizing bad guy we can root for: Riley Wolfe. He’s a master thief, expert at disguise, and not averse to violence when it’s needed. It’s no accident, though, that Riley targets the wealthiest 0.1 percent and is willing to kill them when they’re in his way: he despises the degenerate and immoral rich and loves stealing their undeserved and unearned valuables.


In this series launch, Riley aims for an extraordinary target in a heist that will make history. Riley will try to steal the Crown Jewels of Iran. Yes, these jewels are worth billions, but the true attraction for grabbing them comes down to one simple fact: it can’t be done. Stealing these jewels is absolutely impossible. The collection is guarded by space-age electronics and two teams of heavily armed mercenaries. No one could even think of getting past the airtight security and hope to get away alive, let alone with even a single diamond from the Imperial Collection.


No one but Riley Wolfe. He’s always liked a challenge.


But this challenge may be more than even he can handle. Aside from the impenetrable security, Riley is also pursued by a brilliant and relentless cop who is barely a step behind him.


With the aid of his sometime ally, a beautiful woman who is a master art forger, Riley Wolfe goes for the prize that will either make him a legend—or, more likely, leave him dead

My thoughts

Would I recommend it? Yes

Will I read more of this series? Maybe

Will I read more by this author? Yes

This is the first time I've read anything by this author and I can see why some people like his writing.But as a new to me author he writing was kind of slow going and it took me a while to get into the story as well as to get a feel for the main character. But there was somethings that I  really  did enjoy and like and that was how it give off  the feeling like I was watching a movie, and an old one at that, for some unknown reason some of the stuff  that Riley did remind me of  the old black and white heist movies and how the characters planned out their heist. With that said I want to thank Netgalley for letting me read and review it , and I can't wait to see what happens next.
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I was instantly drawn to this since I loved the dexter series. the main character is ruthless so makes him a little hard to love yet he’s so well developed. But I enjoy unlikeable narrators also. I really wanted to keep reading to see what he would do next. I also love stories told with multiple POV. I love how it gives different angles to the story. This read to me like a movie, like oceans 11 or a heist movie. This was a compelling and fun read.
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I think people are either going to like this book or not. For me, I liked it once I got going. I found it to be a quick read. Fast-paced full of twists and turns with Riley Wolfe wanting to steal the crown jewels. You also have FBI agent Frank Delgato who is working on finding out who he is. The story goes back and forth and though at the beginning of the book I did not care for Wolfe I cannot say my opinion change once I got to the ending. The characters in-between connect you to the story and that is what keeps you going. I found myself into all of the different characters and not so much about if or what Wolfe was doing. A very good read and the author gives some thought at the end which I thought was good.
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This book is the start of a new series by an author whose previous work I have not read. It features the “master thief” Riley Wolfe and (too a much lesser extent) his beautiful colleague Monique, an expert art forger. Riley is bored and looking for a new challenge, so he decides to steal a diamond jewel while the Iranian Crown Jewels are on exhibit in a small, family-owned museum in NYC. Riley’s plan involves an elaborate (and improbable) long con to get around he super security surrounding  the exhibit.  One of the most improbable aspects was Monique’s expert replication of the jewel. The idea that someone without years of jewelry making experience could replicate a famous, antique jewel is just ludicrous. The plan was intricate and held my interest. My problem was that I hated the smug, sociopathic Riley and wanted him to fail. That’s not really good when you are supposed to be rooting for him. The author needs to reread “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and see how a reader can be led to root for the villain. It’s not enough to tell us that Riley is charming and engaging. You need to show it. In this book Riley is just a murdering, greedy, deceitful asshole who is perfect at everything he attempts. Unfortunately, he is still alive at the end of the book and will make it into book number two. 3.5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
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©2020 All Rights Reserved TheLitForum.com Reviews

Just Watch Me
By Jeff Lindsay
December 2019
ISBN: 978-1524743949

An impossible heist -- a huge statue anchored in place -- is pulled off with ease as Jeff Lindsay introduces his new protagonist, master thief Riley Wolfe. Nothing is impossible to Riley. The more out-of-reach something appears to be, the more determined he is to grab it. But after a success like this, how can he possibly top it?

Hmmm, perhaps an exhibition of Iranian crown jewels would be fitting. Guarded by an elite company of former U.S. Army Rangers and the Iranian Guard? Plus a new alarm system? It's impossible. So, Wolfe decides it's perfect.

The heist aspect of Lindsay's novel is the best part. There is a blend of bravado, research, misdirecting the marks of the heist and lots of disguises to entertain.

Wolfe also has a backstory. This isn't his real name. But he is being hunted by a dedicated FBI agent who has come close to finding him before. An agent who is determined to hunt him down this time, starting with Wolfe's real story. The real story is tied to Wolfe's targeting of the richest of the rich, but he's no Robin Hood.

The drawback to Wolfe is that he is utterly without empathy. He has no concept that his actions will hurt others. Why should that be a problem for him? Even the disdain his actions cause to the person who is closest to him, an artist who is brilliant a copying any artwork, is nearly meaningless to him. Wolfe can't figure out why she won't go to bed with him after what he does. His reaction? Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

This aspect to the novel is both a strength in Lindsay's writing and a weakness in the concept of the lead character and further books in the series. The pain that Wolfe causes is well-written. It has an impact. That it has an impact on other characters who know what happened is even stronger storytelling.

But where to go next? Wolfe is incapable of feeling, so he isn't about to grow and change. Lindsay has a challenge similar to that of his creation. How to top himself? What to do next?

--Reviewed by Lynne Perednia
TheLitForum.com Reviews

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Just Watch me by Jeff Lindsay is a mixture of the movies Catch Me if You Can and Now You See Me.  
  This series launch follows a very skilled con artist named Riley Wolfe who has realized there is nothing he cannot do.  He is looking for something to challenge him, when he comes across an article about the Crown Jewels of Iran.  They  are going to be put in the American museum as a sign of good faith between the two countries and it is just the impossible job he is looking for to put the final feather in his cap.
  The story follows Riley through his many aliases in his quest to steal the Jewels and dodge the dogged FBI agent that is on his tale.
  I enjoyed this book.  I thought that the author did a great job of showing the thoughts and processes of the con artist.  It showed how he felt justified in every crime because the people he was hurting "deserved" what they got.  If you like a quick read and a glimpse into the criminal mind, you will like this book.
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I would like to thank Netgalley and Penguin Group Publishers for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is a solid 3.5 out of 5 stars. If you are looking for an easy-to-read novel about an elaborate jewel heist, this book is the one for you! The protagonist goes by the alias Riley Wolfe and is quite the mystery! He has an extensive amount of skilled skills such as stealth, infiltration, espionage, manipulation, and parkour, to name a few. Riley Wolfe is a criminal mastermind that has done it all, and has managed to get away with it all as well. He needs a challenge, a crime to offset all his other crimes and to establish himself the best of the best. What better way to accomplish this than to set out to steal the Crown Jewels of Iran? The Jewels are being brought to a local art exhibit in the States and he is determined to do the impossible. In order to accomplish this he extends a hand to the lovely and talented Monique who is an extremely talented art forger. The game is afoot!

This novel starts out with a  bang and grabs you, however I had a hard time pushing through the fluff in the middle. The author sets up this elaborate jewel heist but seems to branch off in too many directions. There is the jewel heist, but there is also a court case, art forgery, a game of cat and mouse, and an extensive amount of characters that did not really grab me at all. I had a hard time caring for the characters and sympathizing with them, even the main character Riley Wolfe. We have an enigmatic man with an extremely impressive amount of skills, an elusive past, and extremely impressive motivation to do the impossible. However, I found it very difficult to find his motivation for all of this, the "why" behind it all. Even when they dig into his past and you start to lift the veil, it just did not seem warranted. I really enjoyed that they started to unveil the darkness of his character, the author really needs to develop this further. If this was a standalone novel I would have been really disappointed in the development of Riley Wolf, however this appears to be the beginning of a series with intent to develop him further. 

Monique! Monique was by far the most impressive and interesting character in the novel! If she is not in the sequel I think I may have to pass!! This master art forger has so much character and spunk! 

All-in-all a fun and enjoyable read but there was some lost potential in my eyes. Perhaps this will be made up in further novels but as of now it just missed the mark for me. That being said, I can see a lot of people enjoying this as a nice and easy read after a long and daunting one. I'm curious to see what the author does with the characters in the next novel.
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Jeff Lindsay has the unique authorial ability to make you root for the bad guy. He relishes in making you cheer and hope for the kind of things you know you shouldn't be cheering for. In fact, Lindsay is so adept at entrancing readers with his vile characters and their nefarious deeds that he sustained an eight novel series about a serial killer. His Dexter novels became bestsellers and launched a hit television series. When it comes to Lindsay's characters, sometimes bad is actually good. When I first learned of a new novel by the author, I was immediately intrigued. Dexter is the kind of once in a lifetime, lightning in a bottle phenomenon characters that most authors can only dream of creating. I wasn't sure Lindsay would be able to capture that kind of magic again, but I certainly wouldn't miss the chance at reading his attempt.

Who is Riley Wolfe? To most, his is merely a shadow. He's the kind of person you may have heard whispers about, but you're not certain that he actually exists. He is more myth than a living, breathing person. In reality, Wolfe is the mastermind behind some of the most daring a lucrative heists the world has ever seen. He alters is appearance and mannerism with ease, blending seamlessly into his surroundings and evading detection from even the most careful of foes. He is an enigma of sorts, and he is at the absolute top of his game. 

Riley Wolfe has spent years taking on the most impossible heists and building his personal wealth to staggering heights. Despite all of his accomplishments, Wolfe has succumbed to the kind of affliction that threatens to derail his entire life. Riley Wolfe is bored. Sure, he is unmatched as a thief, but nothing seems to challenge him. When stealing a brand new statue via helicopter becomes just another day at the office, it is time to find something more. Something more appears in the form of a new expedition at a private museum in New York. A rare jewel from the middle east will be on display and under the guard of two government security details. Stealing this jewel is impossible. Naturally, Wolfe decides he can steal it. 

I was gifted a copy of Just Watch Me from Jeff Lindsay's publisher, and I'm happy to report that it was everything I wanted in a new novel from the famed author. Riley Wolfe is a liar, cheater, thief, and murderer, the kind of character that Jeff Lindsay excels at writing. He has less redeemable qualities than Lindsay's Dexter (which is certainly saying something), but I still couldn't help but enjoy his escapades. Written as a pretty straight forward heist thriller, Just Watch Me is easily Lindsays best-plotted book in years. The pages flew as I devoured this novel over the course of a few evenings. Like a cross between Oceans Eleven and Lindsays own Dexter novels, Just Watch Me proves that Jeff Lindsay is still the master at making readers fall in love with the bad guy.
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Gosh. I don't even know where to start. This book was.. good. Nothing great, nothing of special note. It could have been better (for me) if I didn't cringe most of the time reading it. 

Here's what I really disliked - the sexist way the men were portrayed. Most of the lines that dealt with women were about how they just melted into knee wobbling little things. The guys were there just to "fuck" these women that didn't have any strengths in this book (besides the master forger). The cockiness of every single male character in this book was just not attractive. It was really unrealistic, and very offsetting. 

Now the heist part was fun, even if A LOT unbelievable. It didn't explain a lot of plot holes, like how Riley found out about certain things, and definitely the time line doesn't seem plausible. Seemed like everything was moving way slower and would take up a lot more time, and the jewels would have been gone by the time Riley was ready for the heist.

Anyways, I don't think I would continue with this series.
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I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

When I had requested this book, I had no idea the author of Dexter wrote this..but about 40 pages in it just felt super familiar. I knew I had read something by this author before. After searching the authors name, I was so excited! I FLEW thought this novel in a few hours. I could not put it down at all. It was just SOOOOOOOOO GOOD. 

I don’t need to dive too much into writing style because if you have seen Dexter then you know this is absolute gold. The characters were flawed flawlessly. I cannot wait for the rest of this series. I cannot wait to see the rest of Riley’s journey. I love it so much. 

Riley is just as ruthless as Dexter. I feel this type of story and character aren’t really seen in stories today. We need more Ruthless Riley’s!!!

Thank you so much to Jeff Lindsay, Penguin Group: Dutton, and NetGalley for allowing me to review this title.
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This was such a fun, fast-paced action story. I could definitely see this being turned into a movie. I don't typically read crime or action type books, but when I saw this was by the author of DEXTER I had to read it.
We are introduced to a new bad guy, but we root for him the entire time. His name is Riley Wolfe, and I love how the story mixes together the details of his criminal heist as well as his childhood and background that brought him to this path in life.
The story was very well told and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.
It was very well set up to be a series as well, so that is exciting.
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A new book by the author of the Dexter series? Absolutely, sign me up. Now, before I get into my thoughts on Just Watch Me, let me add that I haven't read the Dexter series, but I enjoyed the television series quite a lot. So, I suppose Riley Wolfe is supposed to be to thieves what Dexter was to serial killers? If so, something got lost in the translation for me because I didn't find anything likable about Riley. He is stealing from the rich and powerful who didn't exactly earn their money honestly, but I can't really say the same for the caper he's planning in this book. Nope, this is just because he's bored and wants a challenge, so why not attempt to steal the unstealable? Riley's talent for thievery reminds me a little of Neil from White Collar except for one thing - Neil was likable. Riley just isn't. Not even a little bit. Now, I have no problem with an unlikable main character, but I didn't find any of the characters in this one particularly likable. It's quite possible that I'm comparing apples to oranges with this book and the Dexter series, but if that's so, maybe it shouldn't have been used in the blurb. We're promised "a new, mesmerizing bad guy we can root for," and I didn't find that here.
As far as the storyline and writing style, Just Watch Me starts off well enough, and it certainly piqued my interest with the caper Riley pulls off. Sadly, it fizzled from there with some serious lags in the story. The dialogue is often stilted with way too many dialogue tags. The "he said" "she said" after almost every line in conversation was repetitive and tedious, especially when only two people were talking. In the end, this one left me underwhelmed at best, and with the lags in the story, I had a really hard time getting through it. With that, I think it's safe to say that I won't be continuing with the series.
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What an awesome way to start a series. I was instantly hooked, and even though he’s a criminal...I found myself rooting more and more for Riley. The ultimate “no way” situation becomes a mere blip of a complication for him. I couldn’t wait to see how he pulled off the ultimate heist.
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Thank you to Netgalley and Dutton Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book. I would give it four stars out of five. I enjoyed the book and it was very well written. It gave me a little bit of Fox and O’Hare vibes by Janet Evanovich. I could totally see this being a movie and can’t wait to see if there are more books about Riley Wolfe.
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The way it ended, I feel like it's left open for more installments, but I think I would have liked it better as a standalone.  With the Dexter series, even though the main character is a killer, I still really liked him and rooted for him.  With this series, Riley is also a killer/thief but I never had any sympathy for him or was rooting for him at all.
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I loved the Dexter series and I was expecting Just Watch Me to grab me as fast as that series did. Riley just did not capture my attention, he seemed like a likable enough character for the “bad guy”. Told from multiple view points, it reads like it could be a movie.
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Riley Wolfe has a problem. He is just too good at what he does. And what is that you ask? Riley is a cold-blooded master thief. When he sees a $15 billion Iranian diamond is coming to an American museum, he decides to steal it. Even with state-of-the-art electronic security, retired special forces guards and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards watching? Riley’s up for the challenge. As he says, “Think that’s crazy? Suicidal? Impossible? It is. Think it can’t be done?” Just Watch Me.

This book was created by the author of the Dexter books, and it shows. Riley is just as ruthless and probably less moral than serial killer Dexter. However, I enjoyed my time inside his head. There is no other character like him in fiction today. But if you must love the “hero” in your thrillers, especially those written in a first-person tense, Just Watch Me is probably not for you. But for anyone looking for a different type of narrator or who enjoys a good heist story, like me, this book is fantastic and compulsively readable. 4.5 stars rounded up to 5 stars! I can’t wait to see this made into an Ocean’s Eleven-type movie!

Thanks to Dutton Books, NetGalley and Edelweiss+ for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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I was drawn to this book when I read the author also wrote the Dexter series. I like the premise of bad people punishing bad people. While Just Watch Me has some of that concept, Jeff Lindsay is a little more loose with it and people who are not "bad" are sometimes hurt.

The story is a little slow in the beginning, but keep with it - it gets good (well, not so much "good," but there's more action) about halfway through. Like any book of this genre (master art/jewel thief), it's a little unbelievable that Riley is as good at disguise as the book claims him to be and I have to wonder how it holds up in a more technologically advanced world with facial recognition, etc.

Most of the characters were pretty much one-dimensional tropes whose actions made them hard to root for: the driven FBI agent, the spoiled rich family, the token gay guy, the racist ex-special forces team, the artist who paints in the nude because she's so sexy.

If you're looking for a quick read that won't make you think too much, give this one a try. It'll probably end up a movie or TV show sometime soon, so read it before it hits the screen.
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I loved Dexter and actually just watched the entire series for the first time. I felt the Dexter vibes throughout this book. Riley Wolfe was a great character. Jeff Lindsay does dark heroes so well. I am really starting to appreciate multiple perspectives. Lindsay did this well by having the main narrator tell from first person and the other brief narrations told in third person. I really enjoyed Riley's dark humor throughout the book.

I would describe this story as having three distinct parts: the exciting beginning, the slow middle, and the power-punching ending. The excitement and thrill dulled in the middle of the story. I found myself wanting to jump ahead because I knew the ending would be worth it. And it was. 

Would I read more in this series? Possibly, but I also feel like this made for a good one-off book. I would be okay not continuing the series, but I can see how Riley Wolfe has more trouble to get into.
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