Thursday, 18 January 2018

Review: The Amateurs - Sara Shepard

The Amateurs: Follow Me by Sara Shepard, published by Hot Key Books on 5th October 2017

Goodreads synopsis:
Everyone knows Chelsea Dawson. Day and night, her tens of thousands of followers on Instagram watch her every move. So when she goes missing from the sunny beachside town of Lafayette, it makes headlines.  The police are searching everywhere for her kidnapper, but when eighteen-year-old Seneca Frazier sees Chelsea's picture, she knows instantly who took her. Chelsea looks exactly like her friend Aerin Kelly's murdered sister - and Seneca's own mother, who was killed five years ago.

Seneca's suspicions are confirmed when the killer contacts her, threatening to hurt Chelsea if Seneca goes to the police with what she knows. Seneca makes the only move she can, reaching out to Aerin and Maddox and Madison Wright, her friends from Case Not Closed, an amateur crime-solving community. Together they go to Lafayette to work the case, to save Chelsea, and to bring the killer to justice.

But the killer has a plan of his own. He wants Seneca and her friends in Lafayette, but he wants them to play by his rules. One wrong step could mean the end for Chelsea - or the Amateurs.

This is the follow-up to the sensational 'The Amateurs' by Sara Shepard which I thoroughly enjoyed.  The second book in the series was an absolutely brilliant read - a cunning whodunit with a cat and mouse game played out between the mysterious Brett and Seneca and her friends. I love detective stories and this one kept me well and truly on my toes. 

When a local girl goes missing in a small beachside town, the Amateurs believe that the game is on again. Their suspicions are confirmed when Maddox receives a taunting letter in the post and so they head to Lafayette to begin the chase.

I love Seneca's determination not to be beaten by Brett and her desperation to make him face justice for her mother's murder.  She and Brett are well matched opponents, although he always seems to be two steps ahead of them.  Some chapters were told from his point of view and it was creepy being in his head.  I suspect there is still a lot to be revealed about him, his past and his motives. 

I was hooked on this book and read it in practically one sitting.  Sara Shepard has such an ingenious mind and plots incredibly well crafted stories that always leave you puzzling over the series of events.  There are so many twists and turns and well planted red herrings that it makes for fantastic reading.  I was totally engrossed from start to finish.

The ending of the book was a real jaw-dropper.  I can't believe that Sara Shepard left things hanging where she did. I'm so impatient to get my hands on the next in the trilogy - this is a series not to be missed. 

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