Book Review - Follow You by Richard Parker

You set the trap. Now you can’t escape.

When an online prank goes viral and triggers a spate of gruesome murders, documentary maker Hazel Salter watches in horror. But then Hazel’s childhood friend, Meredith Hickman, is the next victim and Hazel knows she has to find out what happened to her.

Is it one killer or more? Random acts of violence, or part of a bigger, twisted plan?

The police have no leads, but Hazel has a theory – one she’ll stop at nothing to prove – and she also has a film crew. She’ll make a documentary, catch the killer, and give Meredith justice.

Her stage is the abandoned amusement park where Meredith was found. 

Her cast are the family and friends the killer left behind. 

And her crew? They keep disappearing, one by one…

A shocking, ‘just-one-more-page’ thriller with the most twisted killer you’ll ever meet. This book will hook you from the first page and keep you guessing long into the night. PERFECT for fans of James Patterson, Mo Hayder, and Chris Carter.

As somebody who has often joined in with hashtag games on Twitter - albeit less macabre ones - I was immediately gripped by the premise of this book. Several deaths appear to be linked to the hashtag #BeMyKiller, are they connected or were different murderers inspired by the tragically prophetic words typed by the eventual victims, who just believed they were playing an online game? From the very start Follow You pulls no punches, this is a book for those who like their thrills to come with a high gore quota. I was immediately reminded of a slasher/stalker type horror film,  the setting - the derelict and somewhat ironically named given the circumstances, Fun Central - and the cast of characters being slowly picked off could easily translate to the screen.
This is definitely not then a book for the nervous or weak-stomached. Deaths are numerous and gruesome and the tension factor is set to high almost throughout the book. I have a feeling that Richard Parker had a ball devising the various shocking ends the characters meet, each inspired by their own words. The not quite a sub-plot of a little girl who sees more than she should really had my heart in my mouth.  It's unusual for a book to really chill me but Follow You actually gave me nightmares. Nevertheless I was hooked throughout and the bad dreams just made me want to read more, a book that affected me that way deserved my full attention! However, although undoubtedly a disturbing and tense read, Follow You also has excellent characterisation (unlike certain horror films, the women here are well rounded and far more than just wallpaper and/or victims) and a really clever plot that for all the gory deaths is actually also an intelligent social commentary.
I'm not going to discuss the plot too much here, Follow You needs to keep its secrets in order to inspire terror in its future readers. However, it kept me intrigued from start to finish and I was genuinely surprised by the reveal. I loved reading a book that really set my heart racing and my spine tingling, If you like your thrills on the visceral side and enjoy a witty, dark and surprising read then I highly recommend this book.
Many thanks to the publishers for my copy received through Netgalley in return for my honest review.

Follow You is published in the UK by Bookouture. You can follow Richard Parker on Twitter as @Bookwalter and find the publishers there as @bookouture. Richard Parker's website is here.

About the author

Richard Parker worked as a professional TV writer for twenty-two years and started by submitting material to the BBC.  After contributing to a wide variety of TV shows he became a head writer, script editor then producer.  

He then decided to subject himself to the easy streets of writing and getting a novel published.
A ten year cornucopia of disappointment followed.  But STOP ME was picked up for publication in 2009. It was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award 2010 and entered the Amazon Top 10 bestseller chart.

SCARE ME, his second stand alone thriller, was acquired by Hollywood production house Relativity Media.  Wentworth Miller has now completed his screenplay.

His third stand alone, STALK ME, followed and was a huge hit in the UK and US Amazon charts. 

Richard has just signed a new three book deal with Bookouture and will have those titles published in 2017.  FOLLOW YOU, RIGHT WHERE YOU'RE STANDING and a third to follow in December. 

He now lives in Salisbury but can always be lured back to London with the promise of an obscenely long lunch.