I FOLLOW YOU by PETER JAMES

This just published thriller is one of the most heart-racing, gripping books I‘ve read in ages.

I’d already pre-booked “I Follow You” which was published on October 1st and it duly appeared in my kindle that same day. 2 days later, galloping through the final chapters, metaphorically turning over the pages as fast as I could, I finished the book, having cried out in horror several times in the climatic final scene.

What a book!

And also a bit of an eye-opener, for those of us who perhaps overshare things on social media. Especially runners, like myself.

Marcus Valentine is a senior consultant at a Jersey hospital and he appears to be living the dream life – brilliant career, pretty wife, 3 children. He is popular and well-respected, so we are initially a little disturbed by his growing obsession with Georgie Maclean, a runner and the fiancée of one of his friends. He starts following Georgie on a running app, and he can easily chart were she is, where she lives, and – through photos shared on Instagram and Facebook – which events she will be attending. And even how she will be dressed. It helps him pick her out at a crowded Parkrun.

Those chapters really hit home.

I’ve never done the “ritual” pre-race photos of the kit I’ll be wearing next day all neatly laid out, but I have certainly shared photos of my bib number – until more experienced runner friends advised me not to (makes cheating easier, apparently) but the ease with which Marcus Valentine is able to garner details about Georgie’s life is downright creepy.

As his obsession grows, he becomes ever more reckless – and (without plot-spoiling at all) won’t you all please use stronger online passwords?

I’ll leave it right there.

There is a claustrophobic, looming sense of horror, and despite the copious details of everyday life and everyday routines, you can feel the mounting pressure. The day-to-day stuff almost makes the impending crisis seem more unbelievable. How can people leading such well-ordered, normal lives, be sucked into the evil web that Marcus weaves?

I’ve read many of Mr. James’s Roy Grace books, which I have enjoyed immensely, but I’m very glad that he made this into a stand alone story – he explains why in his postscript.

I’m not going to tell you anything more about the novel, except you should be ready to yell out in horror at one point.

And, please, do remember to use stronger online passwords.

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