Release date: November 3, 2016
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre
For fans of THE FALL a slick, dark contemporary thriller, in the tradition of SARAH HILARY and ROBERT GALBRAITH that grips from the very first page…
One Missing Girl. Two Million Suspects.
Ruby is a vlogger, a rising star of YouTube and a heroine to millions of teenage girls.
And she’s missing . . .
But she’s an adult – nothing to worry about, surely?
Until the video’s uploaded . . .
Ruby, in the dirt, pleading for her life.
Enter Detective Inspector Kate Riley; the Met’s rising star and the head of a new team of investigators with the best resources money can buy. Among them, Detective Sergeant Zain Harris, the poster boy for multiracial policing. But can Kate wholly trust him – and more importantly, can she trust herself around him?
As hysteria builds amongst the press and Ruby’s millions of fans, Kate and her team are under pressure to get results, and fast, but as they soon discover, the world of YouTube vloggers and social media is much darker than anyone could have imagined.
And the videos keep coming . .
I was pretty stoked about reading this one and excited when it was finally time to pick it up as I had requested it several months ago on NetGalley but wanted to wait until release month to review it. (Ok I actually had planned on reviewing it before release day and didn’t manage that) Anyway, I’m not sure if it’s because I’m suffering from a bit of a book hangover after just reading the amazing The Bird Tribunal or if I’m getting into some sort of slump, but my overall feeling after finishing this was that I was totally underwhelmed. It may just be me as several other bloggers seemed to love this one, so this time, take my thoughts with all that in mind.
I really liked the initial first twenty five percent of this book. Ruby is a vlogger and she gets kidnapped. Her captor posts a video of her online and all hell breaks loose. I found the whole world surrounding the vloggers and their community utterly fascinating. Clearly I can get behind the blogging thing but I don’t spend very much time on YouTube. Maybe an occasional makeup tutorial but it’s rare. My kids however? They’ll watch anytime I let them. I don’t understand the appeal of watching someone playing video games, (much like Ruby’s boyfriend Dan)but I know it’s very big with kids today. God, I sound elderly. There was a lot of talk about millions of subscribers and endorsement deals and it’s just mind boggling. I know there are a ton of YouTube stars, but seeing it play out in this manner in print was so interesting.
Initially, the investigation is all over the place with no real leads. Kate and her team were interesting enough and their backstories were developed and revealed enough to peak my interest, but no real deep character development was done. I think this was because there were so many characters, too many for me to list honestly without boring myself and you. Kate and team is five people, then there is their supervisors, Kate’s mother and care taker and that’s just anyone related to police personnel. The list of possible suspects is equally large and daunting along with friends and family of Ruby and Dan. The list is endless and just too much for me.
After the beginning, I really wasn’t all that invested or impressed by the plot. I figured out the plot twists easily and in any mystery that’s always a huge letdown. The investigation took a few sharp detours that just seemed to serve no actual purpose except to maybe throw the reader off? I’m not even sure. Add in a ton of technical talk relating to computers that, frankly bored me and I really had to power through this. It wasn’t a bad book, Caan is a good writer and I would probably pick up one of his future books, but I just could not get into it in the end.
Overall rating: 3/5
Thanks to Bonnier Zaffre for my review copy.