Maldives, April 2019
Switching between 1989 and 2016, Friend Request’s central mystery has its roots in secondary school, which allows for flashbacks to those crazy adolescent regrets along with a timely invitation to a school reunion.
Louise is a freelance Interior Decorator and a single mother to her son, Henry. On receipt of Maria’s friend request, she starts contacting old school friends, partly to see if they’ve received the same request. Inter spliced with the modern winding towards a climax are the 1989 chapters, littered with incidents of how Louise and her friends bullied Maria.
In line with the most memorable mysteries, events reach a crescendo at the school reunion, but the mystery continues to rise and so that the ending well and truly pays off.
I brought this for a holiday read and was expecting (or hoping!) to find it entertaining enough to pass a few days by the sea. In the Maldives. That was a nice week…
I’m fussy when it comes to mysteries and pride myself on guessing the ending far too early on. I had absolutely no idea with this one, but not because it was so ridiculously buried that a person who has’t been mentioned once turns up at the very last minute to take responsibility for everything.
The writing was good, characters believable and twists and turns didn’t seem an attempt to bamboozle the reader or brighten things up for the sake of it. As with the most rewarding mystery thrillers, Friend Request relies on more than one revelation and that’s what made it standout for me.