Book Review: Trust Me (Social Media Murders 3), by Angela Clarke

Publisher:  Avon (Harper Collins UK)

Publication date:  15th June 2017

The force of Freddie Venton returns in the dynamic and unflinchingly gritty Trust Me.

The technically homeless, romantically chaotic police consultant still fails to censor her thoughts before voicing them, meaning she remains a cause for concern to her school friend and semi-starched superior, Detective Sergeant Nasreen Cudmore, particularly since the momentously questionable use of a stationery cupboard.

During their previous encounters they have been introduced to some very dark places and people, but there’s nothing worse than receiving an eye-witness report of an assault on a young girl only to find there’s nothing they can do about it. The ordeal was streamed live to an online audience but the video link can no longer be traced, so there’s zero chance of tracing the suspects in this digital vision of hell. And to make matters worse, the only viewer brave enough to step forward has been branded a tipsy hysteric, instead of being considered a credible source of valuable information.

Damn. This is raw. Not only did the victim’s fear make a lasting impression but I felt the witness’s raging frustration too. Knowing the urgency of the circumstances and willingly reaching out to the authorities only be dismissed was insulting and incredibly judgemental – the lady lived alone, therefore that empty wine glass next to her laptop must suggest a vivid imagination has replaced all rational thought. The conclusion? No crime took place.

And yet, how soul destroying it must be for police officers when deciding which ghost they should chase? Clearly a fair proportion of the community are vying for their attention in other ways, so making that instinctive call to effectively ‘abandon’ any potential crime must be immensely difficult, as oversights could have grave consequences.

The assault may have appeared online but that doesn’t mean the trauma appeared any less real as it tore through these two-dimensional pages. Location and community also play a crucial role, as a run-down estate already heaving with illicit activity provides the perfect breeding ground for further apprehension to thrive.

I’m a huge fan of Freddie’s clumsy attempts to follow basic procedure as well as her nose, despite what her colleagues are advising. Cocky verbal hostility and commitment issues aside, she’s a decent sort and her reactions to grim situations feel authentically impulsive, not forced for effect. Without a doubt, it’s her distinctive energy that steals the show.

Trust Me is a story of hope that someone, somewhere, will believe yours.

Rating: 4/5

(I received a copy of this title *together Freddie’s new business card and a lovely postcard from the author* with my thanks, and it was my pleasure to read and provide this unbiased review.)

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

‘A fast-paced, unpredictable ride.’ KATERINA DIAMOND, author of The Teacher

YOU SAW IT HAPPEN. DIDN’T YOU?

What do you do if you witness a crime…but no-one believes you?

When Kate sees a horrific attack streamed live on her laptop, she calls the police in a state of shock. But when they arrive, the video has disappeared – and she can’t prove anything. Desperate to be believed, Kate tries to find out who the girl in the video could be – and who attacked her.

Freddie and Nas are working on a missing persons case, but the trail has gone cold. When Kate contacts them, they are the only ones to listen and they start to wonder – are the two cases connected?

Dark, gripping, and flawlessly paced, Trust Me is the brilliant third novel in the hugely popular social media murderer series.

‘Smart and sassy’ SARAH PINBOROUGH, author of Behind Her Eyes

‘Clever and unnerving’ C.L. Taylor, author of The Escape

BUY THE BOOK

(Courtesy of Amazon UK – Photo courtesy of publisher)

Angela is an author, playwright, columnist and professional speaker.

Her debut crime thriller Follow Me (Avon, HarperCollins) was named Amazon’s Rising Star Debut of the Month January 2016, long listed for the Crime Writer’s Association Dagger in the Library 2016, and short listed for the Good Reader Page Turner Award 2016. Follow Me has now been optioned by a TV production company.

The second instalment in the Social Media Murder Series Watch Me (Avon, HarperCollins) is out January 2017. And the third Trust Me (Avon, HarperCollins) is out June 2017.

Angela’s humorous memoir Confessions of a Fashionista (Ebury, Penguin Random House) is an Amazon Fashion Chart bestseller.

Her play, The Legacy, enjoyed its first run at The Hope Theatre in June 2015.

An experienced and entertaining speaker, Angela has given talks, hosted events, and masterclasses for many, including Noirwich Crime Writing Festival,  Camp Bestival, Panic! (in partnership with Create, the Barbican, Goldsmiths University and The Guardian), Meet a Mentor (in partnership with the Royal Society of Arts), Northwich Lit Fest, St Albans Lit Fest, BeaconLit, and the London College of Fashion. She also hosted the current affairs radio show Outspoken on Radio Verulam in 2015, and has appeared regularly as a panel guest on BBC 3 Counties, BBC Radio 4, and the BBC World Service, among others.

In 2015 Angela was awarded the Young Stationers’ Prize for achievement and promise in writing and publishing. She also works for The Literary Consultancy critiquing manuscripts and mentoring. Angela, a sufferer of the debilitating chronic condition Ehlers Danlos III, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, volunteers with Womentoring, Meet a Mentor and at HM Prisons. She is passionate about bringing marginalised voices into the industry. You can find out more about her at http://www.AngelaClarke.co.uk

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