Wednesday 26 July 2017

FRIEND REQUEST by Laura Marshall

When Louise Williams receives a message from someone left long in the past she feels sick. 

Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook. 

Because 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 knowing herself responsible for Maria's disappearance. But now Maria is back. Or is she? 

As Maria's messages start to escalate, Louise forces herself to reconnect with the old friends she once tried so hard to impress, to try to piece together exactly what happened that fateful night. But when another friend's body turns up in the woods outside their old school, Louise realises she can't trust anyone and that she must confront her own awful secret to discover the whole truth of what happened to Maria...

This is a thriller that caught my attention after I received an email from Hachette Australia. The premise sounded interesting, so I was very excited when I received a copy.

Louise Williams is a single mother with her own interior design business. She adores her four-year-old son, only has one real friend and a handful of colleagues she barely keeps in touch with. She mostly looks through Facebook to anonymously watch other people's lives, and only sees her ex-husband when she delivers their son for visitations.

Her life isn't exciting, but it's orderly and helps her move on from the haunting teenage events that never left her.

So when she gets a friend request from a girl she used to know in high school, her world is turned upside down. Maria Weston disappeared in 1989 and was presumed dead, so how can she be sending any messages? A simple message that affects Louise so much memories begin to drown her just as the paranoia of being watched threatens to engulf her.

When she decides to attend her high school reunion, everything intensifies. Because trying to piece together what really happened that night while desperately keeping her very incriminating actions secret, might put herself and son in grave danger...

Yikes! Wow. Okay.

I really enjoyed this book. It was very addictive, well written and SO interesting. Seriously, one of my favourite things about this story was the honest simplicity of Louise's everyday existence, and how the reader is so easily fooled into believing her life is average and boring, when it's anything but. There's so much hidden beneath the surface, and the pace of the revelations is perfect.

The characters are also an amazing feat. I mean, asides from Polly--who is awesome and such a good friend--there was so much to dislike about the characters. Even Louise frustrated me so much that sometimes I couldn't believe what she was actually doing, and hated how easily she lets others dominate her. But as the story moves along and we get to know her better, every reaction makes total sense. Louise might be all grown up but she never overcame her many teen failures and weaknesses. Her interactions with an old school 'friend' (because Sophie was never much of a friend)  confirms this.

Although the majority of the story takes place in 2016, there are several very insightful chapters that jump back to 1989.

Friend Request is an engrossing and very suspenseful story that hooked me in and kept me riveted to every page. It was seriously addictive, got into my brain and I couldn't wait for the secrets to be revealed. When they were, I wasn't disappointed.

This is a seriously awesome book, with several unexpected twists and turns.

Also, I love the cover. It's so creepy!

Friend Request, July 2017, ISBN 9780751568332, Sphere

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