Life has been getting in the way over the last few months and so whilst the book swap has been continuing, my ability to write about the books has not! However, December’s book swap was such a good read that I’ve forced myself to find time to talk about it.
Watch Me by Angela Clarke is possibly the quickest I have ever read a book, and probably the most vocal I have ever been when reading one too (there were a lot of ‘oh my gods’ and gasps throughout).
The book is set in the present day and the basic premise is a focus on a young woman (Nasreen Cudmore) early in her career with the Metropolitan Police and having to deal with the disappearance of a young girl… and find her within a 24 hour time limit. Where this book differs from a regular thriller, is the key role that social media, and particularly Snapchat and Instagram, have to the disappearance and ‘suicide’ of a first girl, and the subsequent disappearance of this second one. What makes the book so disturbing and at the same time so fascinating, is the sheer accuracy and plausibility it has for the events within the story to actually happen in real life. It highlights the vulnerabilities so many of us could face with the volume of personal information we post online. It is not only a brilliant novel, but involves life lessons for many readers.
On top of that, Angela Clarke manages to cleverly intertwine Nasreen’s life events, including a range of questionable decisions she has made, into the core of the story. What I think appealed to me reading this novel was that the main character is a similar age to me, and I was able to engage with her on a number of levels throughout the novel including her career, proving her worth, friendships and relationships.
I could not put this book down (hence only two afternoons to read it – and I’m a slow reader!) and could never have predicted each of the twists and turns which occurred. There is nothing more satisfying than when a book surprises you and catches you out, or introduces something you would not have anticipated.
Overall, the book is clever, shocking, a disturbing accuracy of the possibilities of the modern day, and a thrilling read for anybody. I think I have no choice but to buy the other two books in her Social Media Murder series.