A Lover of Books

Blog Tour – ‘Follow Me’ by Angela Clarke

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‘Follow Me’ is Angela Clarke’s debut novel. It was published by Avon as an eBook on the 3rd December 2015 and will be out in paperback on the 31st December 2015. Today it is my turn on this exciting blog tour. Read on for my review and an extract from the book.

Do you use social media on a regular basis? Well, you never know who could be watching you, following you, planning their next move. You might thing you are internet savvy but it doesn’t mean you are totally safe.

Freddie Venton wants to be a full-time journalist but for now she is working in a coffee shop. One night whilst on shift she spots someone from her past outside. Nasreen, now a police officer, was her childhood friend until eight years ago when something unforgiveable happened. Little does Freddie know that they are about to be thrown together again.

The Hashtag Murderer having already killed someone is posting chilling cryptic clues on Twitter, all of which are pointing to their next target. He or she is enjoying taunting the police, enthralling the press and capturing the public’s imagination. Hundreds and thousands of people are following the murderer’s account. Can Freddie, Nasreen and the police catch the Hashtag Murderer before he or she kills anyone else? It’s a race against time, something which is seriously lacking.

I started reading ‘Follow Me’ a few days ago. It took me a little while to get into the story properly, but a few chapters in and I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next. Most of us use social media regularly so I think the idea for this story was brilliant. The author who has herself experienced the extremes of trolling is a self-confessed social media addict and pretty much knew what she was talking about.

Freddie really grew on me. It was obvious that something had happened between her and Nasreen years ago which spoilt their friendship and it was interesting to see if they would be able to resolve their differences.

I did find myself questioning a couple of things in the story but all became clear later on. I didn’t have a clue who the murderer was. Will ‘Follow Me’ stop me using social media though? Never!

I give this book 4 out of 5.

~~~~~

It’s time now for an extract from ‘Follow Me’.  This is taken from the beginning of Chapter 8.

 

23:13

Saturday 31 October

For a blissful second Freddie thought she was in bed. Then the
concerned face of Nasreen came into focus, haloed by a yellow
ceiling stain.

‘Take your time, don’t rush up,’ she said.

‘Is she okay? Jesus this is all I need: the paperwork!’ Moast’s
square head came between her and the overhead strip lighting.
His cropped blonde hair glowing.

‘I’m okay.’ Freddie pushed against the floor. Sticky.

‘Someone should take a look at you,’ Nas said.

‘No.’ The shock of the accusation sharpened everything. Freddie
took in the dirty white box of a room. The pitted table. The grey
plastic chairs. ‘You can’t really think I’m a murderer?’

‘Where were you between 1am and 5am this morning, Miss
Venton?’ Moast was leaning on the table, his knuckles white from
the pressure.

‘Sir, I really think we should give her a minute.’

She looked up at Moast. ‘I’m fine. Let’s get this sorted,’ Freddie
adopted her customer service voice: the one she used when she
was at a job interview or trying to get a doctor’s appointment.
How Changing Your Tone Can Change Your Life.

‘Miss Venton says she’s fine. And I for one am really looking
forward to how she’s going to explain all this!’ Moast said.

‘Explain what? There’s nothing to explain.’ Freddie stood, a little
shakily, opposite him. She wouldn’t sit first, Lego man.

‘Answer the question: where were you between 1am and 5am
today?’ he said.

‘I was working the night shift at Espress-oh’s.’ She had to keep
calm. ‘Except for when I was talking to Nasreen in St Pancras station.
You were there.’

‘Sit down!’ he barked.

She sat. Her cheeks burning. ‘This is harassment!’

‘Freddie, look, I don’t know who you’ve got yourself involved
with, life has clearly not gone the way you planned it,’ Nasreen
nodded at her Espress-oh’s shirt.

‘I’m a journalist!’ She had to make them understand.

Moast scoffed, ‘You just told us you work at Espress-oh’s? Now
you’re claiming you’re a journalist?’

‘I am a bloody journalist,’ Freddie said.

‘Don’t take that tone with me, Missy,’ he snarled. ‘You’re giving
it all that about calling you Ms. What kind of a name is Freddie for
a girl, anyway? Do you have a problem with men? Did you want
to silence Alun Mardling?’

Freddie looked from Moast to Nas. ‘I didn’t even know who he
was till this morning.’ Freddie tried to remember what she’d said
in her voicemail.

‘Freddie, you’re entitled to legal advice. Are you sure you don’t
want a lawyer present?’ Nas said. Moast glared at her.

‘I don’t need a lawyer, I’ve done nothing wrong!’ said Freddie.

‘We spoke to your manager.’ Moast pulled a notepad from his
back pocket and flicked through it. ‘A Mr Daniel Peterson. He says
you have some anger issues?’

Freddie’s mum always warned her daughter: one day that temper
of yours will get you into real trouble. Pleading with her to think
before she spoke. Unfortunately, the mention of her gossiping boss
and the stone-cold reality of being arrested for murder meant

Freddie returned to type. ‘The lying cunt!’

‘He said that you seemed very – and I quote – “agitated”.

‘A word with four syllables! I’m surprised he managed it.’ Freddie
could just imagine how much Dan relished dishing the dirt on her.

‘Mr Peterson said you left early.’

This was getting ridiculous. ‘I did: to follow you guys. Tell him
why I was there, Nas! Tell him about the paper!’

‘You didn’t say anything about any paper, Freddie.’ Nasreen
looked at her hands. How My Best Friend Became My Best Frenemy.

‘The suspected murder weapon is visible in the photo you sent
Sergeant Cudmore.’ Moast slapped an enlarged version of the
screenshot onto the table.

Winded from the blood, Freddie turned away.

‘The knife is no longer at the scene, because you took it with
you after taking this photo,’ he said.

‘No. You’ve got it all wrong.’ She had to make them listen. This
was insane.

‘Did it make you feel good cutting him?’

Her stomach turned. ‘Stop it! Listen! I know about the murder
weapon. I mean, about it being in the photo. That’s why when I
saw it on Twitter I sent it to Nas.’

‘On Twitter? The photo was on Twitter?’

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