Follow Me by Kathleen Barber
Published by Gallery Books on February 25, 2020 (expected)
Genre(s): fiction, thriller
Format & Length: e-book, 349
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From the author of Are You Sleeping—soon to be an Apple TV series—comes a cautionary tale of oversharing in the social media age for fans of Jessica Knoll and Caroline Kepnes’s You.
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.
I’ve been on a streak of reading thrillers that simply wouldn’t let me put them down, and Follow Me certainly kept it going!
This book follows Audrey as she moves to DC for her dream job, and as she shares the details of her life on Instagram, her followers gobble it up. But this move brings her closer to someone who is obsessed with her and is no longer content to follow her from a distance. It’s told through a few alternating perspectives: Audrey; Cat, whom Audrey befriended in college and who now helps Audrey acclimate to DC; and Him, Audrey’s stalker. The author builds these characters up nicely, layer by layer, revealing each of their depths despite the stereotypes others have placed upon them.
Follow Me has a straightforward plot that advances easily and quickly. There are a few nice twists, with have clues planted along the way for the reader to find if paying attention. And solid, clear writing helps to make this a compulsively readable novel that also makes an important point: be careful with what you choose to share online.
In the end, Follow Me is a thriller that entertains and also makes you think. If this sounds like your kind of book, definitely give it a shot!
*Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc of this edition via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.