Publisher: Titan Books
Publication date: 21st March 2017
Follow Me Down is an intoxicating circus of evidence vs instinct. We all have strong feelings about a loved one’s guilt or innocence, but how well do we really know them? Our gut tells us one thing, yet glaringly obvious circumstances suggest the person we thought we knew may be hiding more than we could ever know.
From the opening chapters I was sitting to attention straight away as there’s a colossal question mark dangling over the head of Mia’s twin brother, Lucas, who has not attended his interview with police concerning the death of one of his students. Well that was just a red rag to a bull. According to popular opinion (their ex-classmates, a blight of teenagers, random strangers) his actions are as good as confessing to the murder, which is why they asked Mia to return to her home town hoping she can shed some light on his whereabouts.
The town is instantly recognisable by its suffocating tittle-tattle and is not short of complications for the next generation to endure. It goes without saying that Mia’s arrival is met with a reception frostier than the Arctic Circle, after all she is intruding on their grief and her brother is the cause of it. While she can’t battle the entire self-elected jury or convince the police to take their blinkers off she can engage in a spot of truth-wrangling fuelled by a lot of nerve, mostly boosted by prescription medication she has acquired through dubious means during the course of her job as pharmacist.
What is it people say, “when you’re in a hole stop digging?” Between fighting her corner with the locals and letting her guard down when she really ought not to, disturbing and incriminating evidence tip toes behind her as a reminder that she could be wrong, about everything. Her less lucid or acutely buzzing moments may cloud her judgement, but this confirms just how much she relies on a random assortment of pills to resuscitate her, much like she needs air to breathe.
Elusive Lucas is conspicuous by his absence, a state that actually makes him the most intriguing character in the story! The doubt as to whether he’s a person of interest by default, or whether there is substance to the allegations, is a powerful driving force.
It takes sixteen days to unearth the ugly truth in a small town with big troubles. Mia’s blindingly realistic first person narration allowed me to vividly experience just how her predicament veered from raging hopelessness to an optimistic hallelujah in a flash – I didn’t know who or what to believe until the nerve-piercing finale of this strikingly phenomenal read.
(Courtesy of Amazon UK)
Mia never intended to go home again, but has no choice when her twin brother goes missing. Back to the people she left behind, the person she used to be, and the secrets she thought she d buried. Her brother Lucas, a popular teacher, has disappeared on the same day as the murdered body of one of his students was pulled from the river. Trying to wrap her head around the rumours of Lucas’s affair with the teenager, and unable to reconcile the media’s vicious portrayal of Lucas with her own memories of him, Mia is desperate to find another suspect. All the while, she wonders, if he’s innocent, why did he run?
(Courtesy of Amazon UK)
S.L. SMITH spends time with her family and two rescue dogs, and restores vintage furniture that would otherwise be destined for the dump. She lives in Winnipeg, Canada, where the long, cold winters nurture her dark side. Follow Me Down is her first thriller, which has been described as an engrossing page turner by Diane Chamberlain, bestselling author of The Silent Sister.