Friend Request by Laura Marshall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Maria wants to be friends.
But Maria is dead . . . isn't she?
When Louise Williams receives a message from someone left long in the past, her heart nearly stops.
Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook.
Maria Weston has been missing for over twenty-five years. She was last seen the night of a school leavers' party, and the world believes her to be dead. Particularly Louise, who has lived her adult life with a terrible secret.
As Maria's messages start to escalate, Louise forces herself to reconnect with the old friends she once tried so hard to impress. Trying to piece together exactly what happened that night, she soon discovers there's much she didn't know. The only certainty is that Maria Weston disappeared that night, never to be heard from again - until now. . .
When I saw this book I knew it would be something I would want to read. A thriller based round social media I thought was very current and a great concept.
I feel this is something most people would be able to relate to, facebook, accepting friend requests from people you used to go to school with and thinking you know them. This questions everything, do you really know who is behind the computer contacting you? Do you really know who's profile you are looking at?
This follows Louise, a single mother to Henry. Louise used to be married to Sam, a guy she knew from school but never really got with him until many years later. Sam and Louise hold a secret though, one that she is now deeply ashamed of and one that will never go away. Louise suddenly receives a facebook request from a girl she knew at school, the problem is that this girl is dead, or is she?
The book jumps back into the past, where the reader learns of Louise as a teenager and Maria Western, who the facebook request was from. We discover how Maria arrived at the school and how Louise and her current friendship group bullied her. Jumping to the past and back into the present the reader gets a good understanding of the characters. After the facebook request Louise also gets an invite to her old school reunion, which is back in the school hall. This is traumatic for Louise especially as this is a time in her life that she has been trying to forget.
Although this is fast paced, you are right slap bang in the middle of things from the first page. I did feel it plateaued out in the middle and was a little slow, it did pick up again though towards the ending and wow, I did not see that ending coming. This is a good debut novel and I hope that Marshall will be writing something else in the future. If you like books set in today and include current technology/culture you will enjoy this.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.