Friend Request (2017): Laura Marshall

★★★

Occasionally we all get moments, perhaps after reading a surfeit of very serious Russian short stories, when we’d quite like to read something a little less demanding. So it was that this much-publicised thriller arrived on my Kindle. I’d spotted posters for Friend Request all over the Tube a few months ago and the premise intrigued me. What would you do if you had a Facebook friend request one morning from an old classmate whom you believed to have died twenty-five years before? (Personally I wouldn’t accept it and would report it to Facebook; but I suppose that’s why I’m not the protagonist of a thriller.) It was a tantalising, eerie scenario. I plunged into the story with gusto, reading it in an afternoon, but, maybe inevitably, it didn’t quite live up to expectations. A taut tale of rising tension is muddied towards the end by too many plot strands and a much-hyped twist that felt more melodramatic than plausible.

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