Friend Request – Laura Marshall

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Friend Request was published by Sphere on 27 July 2017

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. . .

My thoughts

Friend Request is a reminder not to accept friend requests on Facebook from dead people! You probably knew that, right? It is also a cautionary tale, not to post your every move online. You never know who is watching you. Stay safe, people!

Friend Request is a rather cool psychological drama from Laura Marshall. She has her finger on the pulse, with this gem of a book. We see the slow torture of Louise via social media. Louise is being stalked. She starts to fall apart under the escalating pressure. It is very well done.

Louise is in her forties, a successful decorator who is divorced with a young son. She receives a friend request from a familiar name. It is Maria, a girl she went to secondary school with. Maria is dead. That is a fact. Maria died in tragic circumstances in 1989. Laura has a few dark secrets from her school days. She was part of a girl clique, that bullied Maria. Laura is invited to a school reunion, which brings all of the past flooding back. Things start to get increasingly desperate for Laura. She has a stalker. Someone wants her to pay for the past. Poor Laura!

I had loads of fun reading Friend Request. Marshall really makes Laura suffer psychologically for her sins. What makes it all very clever is that Laura is portrayed in a realistic way. It is easy to imagine a girl desperate to be with the ‘in crowd’ at school doing the wrong thing. I felt masses of empathy for young Laura, a girl who just wants to be liked. The grown up Laura is full of self awareness and guilt. She has grown from this experience. This is essentially a story about bullying and revenge. We see clearly there are no winners.

This is the book that will remind you how glad you are not to be a teenager. Friend Request is a proper page turner, executed with style. Recommended.

 

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About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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