☆☆➹⁀☆ 4 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆
About the Book:
Everyone wants new followers…until they follow you home.
Audrey Miller has an enviable new job at the Smithsonian, a body by reformer Pilates, an apartment door with a broken lock, and hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers to bear witness to it all. Having just moved to Washington, DC, Audrey busies herself impressing her new boss, interacting with her online fan base, and staving off a creepy upstairs neighbor with the help of the only two people she knows in town: an ex-boyfriend she can’t stay away from and a sorority sister with a high-powered job and a mysterious past.
But Audrey’s faulty door may be the least of her security concerns. Unbeknownst to her, her move has brought her within striking distance of someone who’s obsessively followed her social media presence for years—from her first WordPress blog to her most recent Instagram Story. No longer content to simply follow her carefully curated life from a distance, he consults the dark web for advice on how to make Audrey his and his alone. In his quest to win her heart, nothing is off-limits—and nothing is private.
With “compelling, suspenseful” (Liz Nugent) prose, Kathleen Barber’s electrifying new thriller will have you scrambling to cover your webcam and digital footprints.
Kathleen Barber’s latest contemporary fiction, Follow Me is a thriller that will have you questioning not only if you should engage in social media, but also, who might be watching you.
In real life, Audrey Miller is anxious and insecure; she has a deep need to be not just liked but to be enviable. Online, she is happy and carefree. She hides behind the persona she presents on Instagram. Her followers make her feel liked; they make her feel that she has friends. However, some should make her feel afraid.
A falling out with her snarky roommate pushes Audrey to get over her anxiety and leave the comfort of familiarity to take a dream job in a city several states away. Her youth and naivete lead her to make some questionable choices in this move. The shady basement apartment and the creepy neighbor add to the feeling of menace as Audrey posts every move she makes on Instagram. Unbeknownst to Audrey, “Him” has been obsessing over her for years, and she has moved into his hometown.
As the story progresses, Audrey was easy to worry over, but not easy to like. I felt the same about many of the secondary characters. Ms. Barber made me question most characters as possible candidates for “Him”. Even the two people she knows in town–an oddly protective sorority sister and an ex-boyfriend–had me questioning their motivations and actions.
There is a delicious mounting of tension throughout the story, which made Follow Me a page-turner. The denouement is a quick wrap up after all the twists and turns, but Follow Me was none-the-less an engaging thriller.
About the Author: Kathleen Barber’s first novel Truth Be Told(formerly published as Are You Sleeping) is the inspiration for the Apple TV+ series of the same name, produced by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and starring Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul. Kathleen was raised in Galesburg, Illinois, and is a graduate of the University of Illinois and Northwestern University School of Law. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and son. Follow Meis her second novel.
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