Book Review: Follow Me by Angela Clarke

Follow Me
Follow Me by Angela Clarke
Release Date: 3rd December 2015
Publisher: Avon UK
Buy: KindlePaperback (pre-order)
Rating:
5 star

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LIKE. SHARE. FOLLOW . . . DIE

The ‘Hashtag Murderer’ posts chilling cryptic clues online, pointing to their next target. Taunting the police. Enthralling the press. Capturing the public’s imagination.

But this is no virtual threat.

As the number of his followers rises, so does the body count.

Eight years ago two young girls did something unforgivable. Now ambitious police officer Nasreen and investigative journalist Freddie are thrown together again in a desperate struggle to catch this cunning, fame-crazed killer. But can they stay one step ahead of him? And can they escape their own past?

Time’s running out. Everyone is following the #Murderer. But what if he is following you?

ONLINE, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM …

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Freddie Venton is an aspiring journalist who is currently working in a coffee shop just to keep her head above water. She is having trouble breaking in to the ‘cut-throat’ world of journalism and is well and truly fed up of her life which involves sharing a flat with numerous other people and using the lounge as her bedroom.
However, things look set to change for Freddie when she spots an old school friend from her past, Nasreen, who has now become a police officer. Desperate for her next story, Freddie realises that Nasreen could be the key to getting her name in print, however she gets a lot more than she bargained for when she follows Nas and ends up stumbling in on a horrific crime scene. A man has been brutally murdered whilst sat at his computer, tweeting, and it’s not long before the perpetrator appears on Twitter themselves…
A case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time results in Freddie being recruited to help with a murder investigation as a ‘social media advisor’ as she is pretty clued up when it comes to Twitter, something which it appears that team working on the case aren’t so good at…
However, as the murderer starts to tweet cryptic clues about their next victim it turns in to a race against time to undercover the true identity of the ‘Hashtag Murderer’. But can Freddie and the team find out who is behind this vicious crime before they strike again?

It turns out that the world of journalism isn’t nearly as ‘cut-throat’ as that of working for Jubilee Police…

As someone who is bordering on becoming a social-media addict, this story really appealed to me. I instantly loved the premise – it was clever, bang-on-trend and a completely new idea which hasn’t been done to this extent before. I will admit to having many preconceived ideas about how I thought this story would turn out, so Angela Clarke really had her work cut out before I even started reading. I had such high expectations. But did she let me down? #AbsolutelyNot.

Follow Me is a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants book which will make you slightly very paranoid. It’s thrilling, scary and based around such a genius idea. Like any good crime novel there are just the right amount of red herrings to keep you thoroughly guessing right up until the very end. I love this in a novel – it’s no fun if you work out who did it half way through, right? I can honestly say I had no idea who the #Murderer was. However, now that I do know I find myself re-tracing certain parts of the story and thinking ‘Oh YES!’ and ‘How did I miss this!?’ (Miss Marple I am not…) I don’t think it will just be me who feels this way though. I’m pretty sure Angela will have most of her readers fooled right up until the HUGELY tense ending.

The element of Follow Me that really made the story was, for me, the characters. Freddie makes for a superb lead to the story. She is feisty, smart, brave and can rock a red hair-do (although I prefer how she is described by another character as ‘95% rage and 5% converse’ – I think that sums Freddie up perfectly.) There’s a refreshing ‘normal-ness’ to Freddie; she is struggling to make it in her chosen career and has been reduced to sleeping on a sofa. She is also incredibly frustrating at points and will have you screaming at your e-reader but there’s a steely determination to her that you can’t help but admire. I loved how her mind was always on getting a story – no matter what was happening or who she was with, she’d be coming up with potential story ideas. She wants to be a journalist so bad that she will do anything to get that all elusive story – but she certainly doesn’t bank on the story that does unfold.
Nasreen was also a fascinating character. There’s a history between the two which I haven’t yet mentioned. Freddie and Nasreen were best friends at school but it soon becomes apparent that they lost touch and now have nothing to do with one another. However, there’s much more than that to their story as we discover more about their past as the novel progresses. Something happened to these two girls when they were teenagers. They were the best of friends – what made them drift apart? Why do they have such a tense and frosty relationship now? I had to find out. This is another completely separate angle to the story that Angela has woven in amongst all of the other activity going on. Follow Me is a story with so much depth, intrigue and mystery that you will find it impossible to put down. I feel as though the story really stepped up a gear when I got around 60% through – so be warned – by the time you reach this action-packed section of the story there will be no going back and you will not be able to resume normal life until you have reached the end.

Angela Clarke was just made to write this dark, twisty tale. Her writing is fully engaging and completely addictive. The way that she spins out the plot and is certain never to give too much away makes for the perfect crime novel (along with the way that she leads you up the garden path once or twice, too…) Her characters are vibrant and believable and she has created a spectacularly creepy tale here.

Don’t start this book if you either a) have plans or b) are alone. Both situations will have to be rectified once you become submerged in this gripping, un-put-down-able novel.

 

A huge thank you to Helena at Avon for approving me on NetGalley to read & review Follow Me. 

 

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Angela ClarkeAngela Clarke is an author, columnist and playwright.

Her debut crime novel Follow Me (Avon) is out December 2015. Follow Me is the first book in the Social Media Murder Series. The next book in the series Are You Awake? is out summer 2016.

Her memoir Confessions of a Fashionista (Ebury) is an Amazon Fashion Chart bestseller. Her debut play The Legacy received rave reviews after it’s first run at The Hope Theatre in June 2015. Angela’s journalist contributions include: The Guardian, The Independent Magazine, The Daily Mail, and Cosmopolitan.

Now magazine described her as a ‘glitzy outsider’. Angela read English and European Literature at Essex University, and Advances in Scriptwriting at RADA. In 2015 Angela was awarded the Young Stationers’ Prize for achievement and promise in writing and publishing.

Angela ClarkeWebsiteGoodreads | Twitter |

 

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