Author : Laura Marshall
Title : Friend Request
Pages : 384
Publisher : Sphere
Publication date : July 27, 2017
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.
For someone like me, who dislikes Facebook with a fiery passion, this is the stuff of nightmares right here. Imagine receiving a friend request from someone you believe to be dead. I think my heart would skip a beat. Or just stop. And there are various other events that will make you either check your privacy settings or delete your Facebook account altogether.
This is what happens in Friend Request. Louise receives a friend request from Maria but Maria has been missing for decades. She was last seen at a leavers’ party and it’s quite clear early on that Louise knows more about that night than she’s letting on.
Part of the story is set back in 1989 where through flashbacks we learn about the sometimes vicious nature of teenagers. While my high school days were nothing like this at all, thankfully, it’s incredibly easy to imagine the popular cliques, the need to belong and impress, the bullying and how quickly things can spiral out of control. And this was in the days before social media.
In the present day chapters, Louise is forced to reconnect with old classmates as the messages she receives start to become more frightening. What really happened the night Maria went missing? Louise isn’t the only one holding on to secrets and the truth is far worse than she could ever have imagined.
Friend Request is an incredible debut by Laura Marshall. The plot was gripping from start to finish. With a brilliant pace and twists, turns and red herrings, it had me glued to the pages. I always find a true mark of how engrossed I am in a story, is when I finish reading and realise I didn’t take notes to write my review. Which is what happened here. Utterly absorbing and compelling, I highly recommend this one and very much look forward to what this new and exciting author comes up with next.
Friend Request is available now!