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Nasreen Cudmore

Trust Me by Angela Clarke

51O73PAHCPL__SY346_While undertaking some online research for her work, Kate stumbles upon a live video which is seemingly showing a young woman being murdered. After calling the police, she discovers that the video has disappeared and that people are reluctant to take her seriously. How can she prove that this was not a figment of her imagination and that, somewhere, is a girl in need of help? Meanwhile, Sergeant Nasreen Cudmore and her friend Freddie Venton are working on a missing persons case – could the two incidents be connected?

Trust Me is the third of Angela Clarke’s Social Media Murders series, following on from Follow Me and Watch Me and, again, deals with the dark side of the internet. This time the spotlight is on Periscope and how people, anywhere, can watch video clips that are put online. It is, in many ways, a modern twist on the Agatha Christie classic, The 4.50 from Paddington, where instead of Elspeth McGillicuddy witnessing the strangling of a woman when passing on a train and nobody believing her, we have Kate witnessing the rape and murder of a young woman online and the video being removed before her story can be corroborated.

In Trust Me, we see a different side to Freddie’s character in that she is struggling to come to terms with feelings she has never felt before. This angst does not stop her impulsiveness, however, and she is soon infuriating her friend, Nas, who is more adept at playing by the rules. There are times, though, when we see Nas acting without thinking, showing that the friends’ personalities are beginning to rub off on each other.

One of the things I liked most about this book was that, although it is a police procedural, it is not a traditional whodunit. The naming of the culprit is secondary to the actual investigation and the police search for the girl in the video. It is still a fast-paced story, though, especially in the last fifth of the book when one of the characters is placed in mortal danger.

I’ve enjoyed reading all of the books in this series so far and I hope that Angela Clarke has some more in the pipeline!

With thanks to Net Galley and Avon Books UK for the ARC.

 

Watch Me by Angela Clarke

51g8rpiawvlWhen 15-year-old Chloe Strofton is found dead after sending a suicide note on social media, it is assumed that the teenager has, tragically, taken her own life. After a second teenager, Lottie Burgone, goes missing, and taunting messages are sent to the police via Snapchat, connections begin to be made. What makes this case personal is that the missing girl is the sister of one of the investigating officers. DS Nasreen Cudmore and her friend Freddie Venton are determined to find the missing girl and discover who is behind the horrific attack. When a name from a previous case emerges, the women know that this promises to be a disturbing, twisted game of ‘cat and mouse’.

Ever since reading the first of Angela Clarke’s ‘Social Media Murders’ (Follow Me), I had been eagerly awaiting its sequel. Of course, when you’ve enjoyed a book so much, there is always slight trepidation when reading its follow-up in case it’s a let down. I am incredibly pleased to say that Watch Me is just as good, if not better, than Follow Me!

From the very first page, the author has you hooked and leaves you in no doubt as to the direction of the book. Although we, initially, don’t know the identity of the person who is experiencing such an extreme form of bullying, sympathy is instantly felt for them and for what they are going through. Whereas the emaphasis was placed on Twitter in the previous book, here we see how Snapchat and message boards can be used for less-than-honest means and how the innocent can become embroiled in it. The subject matter is one that has been very high profile in recent years and the author has certainly done her research to show how easy it is to become affected.

It definitely helps to have read the previous book although not too many spoilers are given away. Initially, the focus is on Nasreen and her police role but we are soon reacquainted with Freddie who, as a result of events in Follow Me, is a shadow of her former self. You can’t keep a good woman down, though, and Freddie is soon back to her wise-cracking ways, becoming an indispensible member of the investigating team.

Again, I found myself being unable to put this book down; “I’ll just read one more chapter…” became my mantra! The pace is relentless as it hits you with one revelation after another. I did have my suspicions early on as to who the culprit was and, although, I had identified a ‘wrong-un’, the actual killer remained unknown until the end, which contained a clever twist.

My only concern is now the time I’m going to have to wait until the next book!

With thanks to Harper Collins UK and Net Galley for my ARC.

 

 

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