By Laura Marshall
Author’s website: lauamarshall.co.uk
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jerjen
A paranoid single mom is forced to confront the unthinkable act she committed as a desperate teenager in this addictive thriller with a social media twist.
Maria Weston wants to be friends. But Maria Weston is dead. Isn’t she?
- When Louise first notices the new girl who has mysteriously transferred late into their senior year, Maria seems to be everything the girls Louise hangs out with aren’t. Authentic. Funny. Brash. Within just a few days, Maria and Louise are on their way to becoming fast friends.
- Louise receives a heart-stopping email: Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook. Long-buried memories quickly rise to the surface: those first days of their budding friendship; cruel decisions made and dark secrets kept; the night that would change all their lives forever.
Louise has always known that if the truth ever came out, she could stand to lose everything. Her job. Her son. Her freedom. Maria’s sudden reappearance threatens it all, and forces Louise to reconnect with everyone she’d severed ties with to escape the past. But as she tries to piece together exactly what happened that night, Louise discovers there’s more to the story than she ever knew. To keep her secret, Louise must first uncover the whole truth, before what’s known to Maria–or whoever’s pretending to be her–is known to all.
For those of us on social media, at one time or another, we have all received a friend request. There is some anticipation as to who sent the request, who wants to be our friend? Imagine the horror you would feel if the person who sent the request had been dead for over twenty years. That is exactly what happens to Louise Williams when she opens up her computer and receives the friend request. Then she begins receiving messages that become more threatening in nature and she becomes very scared. You see, Louise has a secret that she has been carrying since she was in high school. Something that she does not want anyone to find out about. She has been dealing with guilt since high school and she is afraid that her whole world is going to come crashing down around her.
The characters are well rounded and three dimensional. Louise has a lot of baggage that she is carrying around from her teenage years. She does not want the events from the past to affect her life with her son now but she is afraid that is exactly what is going to happen. Her ex-husband Sam is not one of my favorite people, but then I think that is the way the author wanted me to feel. And Henry, her son, is just adorable.
The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. The book was written from two different perspectives, the past and the present. This was a very effective way to let readers learn what happen so long ago and how it affected the present. Sometimes I do not like this writing technique but is really worked for this book. There was also some thoughts from an unknown person, which added to the suspense. Who was this person?
I really enjoyed the fact that the author wrote about current issues, and in some instances, showed how things were not much different back twenty years ago, such as how high school is tough and how bullying affects lots of people. Then there is social media and how anyone can find anyone they want to in this day and age. When you really stop to think about it, that is a very scary thought.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted psychological suspense book. I was pulled into the book from the beginning and I went on a thrilling ride until the end. It is hard to believe this is the author’s debut book. Be sure to check it out.