Desert Isle Keeper
Follow Me is Kathleen Barber’s second novel, and it’s every bit as delicious as her début. The story feels utterly believable, like the sort of thing you’d read about in your local newspaper, and after reading it, I’m not sure I’ll view technology in quite the same light ever again.
Some people say Audrey Miller shares too much of her life with her social media followers, but Audrey doesn’t see it that way at all. In her opinion, social media is the most efficient way of keeping the world appraised of what’s going on with her, and Audrey is convinced the world is waiting with bated breath for her every post.
When a new job forces Audrey to bid New York City farewell and make her home in Washington D.C. instead, she feels a bit of sadness, but she also knows she’ll take the nation’s capital by storm. She’s been building her online brand for years now, so her new job and creepy basement apartment are bound to provide tons of fodder for her many Instagram posts. True, she doesn’t know many people in her new city, but she’s not too worried about that. After all, her enormous list of followers is always with her, so face-to-face relationships aren’t all that important.
There’s someone in D.C. who knows Audrey better than she thinks. This person has been keeping track of her since she created her very first blog post, and he knows they’re meant to be together. Now, all he has to do is prove his devotion to Audrey herself, and he knows exactly how to convince her they’re destined to be together forever.
Follow Me is told from three different perspectives. Of course we see things from Audrey’s perspective as well as that of her stalker, but we also get to know Audrey’s college roommate Cat, a woman with some dark secrets of her own. I wasn’t initially sure how Cat fit into the story; I kind of wondered if the author needed an extra character to provide a red herring of sorts, but as I continued to read, it became clear Cat was an integral part of this twisty tale for reasons beyond my wildest imaginings.
Since this is a thriller, some of the situations the characters get wrapped up in might come off as a bit over the top to some readers, but that’s honestly one of the things I liked best about this book. The basic premise could have been taken from the headlines, but the mystery itself is addictive enough to keep readers up well past their bedtimes. There’s something so delightful about reading a book where all sorts of crazy things happen, things you’d roll your eyes at in any other setting. You’re content to suspend your disbelief and follow where the author leads, and trust me when I say Ms. Barber isn’t taking you anywhere you might be expecting to go.
Certain aspects of the story are pretty dark, so if you’re disturbed by stories that center around stalking, you might want to give Follow Me a pass. I don’t think the author goes overboard when it comes to the level of violence contained in the novel, but everyone’s tolerance for violence on the page is a little different. I’ve read much worse, but I have a pretty strong stomach when it comes to books like this.
Kathleen Barber has once again managed to completely captivate me, and I can’t wait for the world at large to be introduced to this book. It’s everything I love in a good thriller with several unique twists that make it stand out from the crowd of other similar stories.