Published by Hachette UK on July 27th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense, Contemporary Women, Crime, Psychological, Mystery & Detective, General
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**THE ADDICTIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER THAT EVERYONE'S RAVING ABOUT **
'Twisty and gripping' Erin Kelly'I loved it' Rachel Abbott'An incredible debut' Hollie Overton
Maria wants to be friends. But Maria is dead . . . isn't she?
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. . .
A pulse-pounding psychological thriller for fans of He Said/She Said, The Couple Next Door and I See You.
As soon as I heard the synopsis for Friend Request, I wanted to read it. I love the use of social media in novels, especially when it’s used for nefarious purposes or to terrify the living daylights out of someone. #goals. I love the idea of using someone’s life against them (I know, I’m a terrible person) especially since people literally put their whole lives on Facebook for anyone to see. I do not. Yet you see people giving so much information about themselves away for free, it makes me cringe, the posts I see on Facebook, from people who I am friends with but who are, by no means, actual, genuine friends. So this book was right up my alley…
Friend Request also deals with bullying, and I’m still torn on how I felt about Louise. On the one hand, I know what it’s like to want to fit in, because we all want to, but on the other, I was Maria Weston. I had friends who would be fine with me one day, make me a friendship bracelet, then demand it back the next because I wasn’t their friend. My last year of school I felt like I had nobody, and that’s actually the worst feeling in the world and so I kind of hated Louise for what she did. She was awful to Maria, and for no good reason. She knew what Sophie had done in the past – freezing Louise out as and when it suited her, so I’m baffled as to why Louise would do her bidding. Maria & Esther > Sophie.
The 1989 sections of the novel made me angry. That’s all I’ll say about them. But I liked the 2016 bits. It’s clear Louise HAS changed and does seem to feel some kind of remorse, although not enough remorse to confess and pay the price, whatever that may be, but she clearly regretted the way her teenage self acted, and I did feel sorry for her when the messages from Maria Weston started to come through. It must be pretty freaking scary to start receiving messages from someone who’s been dead for twenty-five years (but also, KARMA). I loved the pace of the book, I absolutely adored Harry (he was my favourite!), and I was desperate to know just what had gone down that evening, many years ago.
The ending I would never have guessed in a million years. Bravo Laura Marshall, bravo. I had bits and pieces pulled together, but I genuinely never thought that person had done… that. It was a brilliant way to end the novel, if massively creepy and I do wonder how you move on from something like that? It’s all well and good authors writing these marvellous, creepy endings, but THINK ABOUT THE CHARACTERS THAT ARE LEFT. This was a pretty brilliant debut, all in all. I had strong feelings about Louise, especially 1989 Louise, but I loved the plot, the tone, the pace, all of it. I’m looking forward to what Laura writes next because Friend Request was a gripping, thrilling read, from start to finish.