“Friend Request” by Laura Marshall is a thriller with a social media twist. It is just an ordinary day for self-employed interior designer Louise Williams. She is working at home on her computer, and there it is; Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook, except that Maria Weston died when they were in high school. That dreaded “event,” the death of Maria, taints Louise’s past and contaminates her present.
We get to know Louise through her first person narrative; we learn about her failed marriage, her devotion to her four-year old son, her peculiarities, her impressions, and her nagging anxiety about that “event” in her past. Her story switches back and forth between 2016 and 1989 when she was in high school, and each chapter is marked to make it easy to track the timeline. We “hear” about her friends, close and casual, and their connections in high school and now.
Marshall’s writing style and construction pull the reader into Louise’s struggle and apprehension. As she becomes more and more nervous about her past, ordinary events seem to become conspiracies. Is it just guilt catching up with her after all these years, or is someone really out to get her? To add to the intrigue, every few chapters there is another voice, not Louise’s, which interrupts the narrative with unsettling comments. Who is this? Little by little, the past comes screaming into the present with a frightening twist that readers will not see coming.
I received a copy of “Friend Request” from Grand Central Publishing, Laura Marshall, and Net Galley, and I absolutely loved it. The characters were captivating and believable. Marshall’s writing style and character development kept me involved right up until the astonishing twist at the end. I highly recommend this book to everyone.